Developer plans field house with basketball and volleyball courts in Hilliard

KEVIN CORVO
ThisWeekNEWS.com
This design shows a rendering of the planned construction of the Westwood Field House on Brown Park Drive in Hilliard. It would include two high school-regulation basketball courts and four high school-regulation volleyball courts, locker rooms and a "party room" available for corporate events or family celebrations.

A 17,000-square-foot indoor basketball and volleyball venue might be built next year on the east side of Brown Park Drive in Hilliard.

The Westwood Field House would include two high school-regulation basketball courts and four high school-regulation volleyball courts, locker rooms and a “party room” available for corporate events or family celebrations, said Andy Warnock, who is the lead investor and managing partner for the project north of Cemetery Road.

Warnock, who owns Old Hilliard Ltd., also is the developer of eight patio homes slated for construction next month on Norwich Street, the owner of local apartments and a partner in Legacy Smokehouse at 3987 Main St.

Warnock said he is in the process of finalizing the financing for Westwood Field House.

The construction cost is yet to be determined but is expected to exceed $2 million, he said.

The venue would be built on 1 acre to be purchased from Life Community Church, 4400 Cemetery Road.

“We expect to close on that purchase by the end of the year,” Warnock said.

The Hilliard Planning and Zoning Commission on Sept. 10 approved a lot split to allow for the sale of the parcel.

Warnock said he also must receive approval of a variance from the Hilliard Board of Zoning Appeals on Thursday, Sept. 17, for the project to advance.

“While there remains a need for a larger facility that could host regional tournaments, this project is a way for us to dip our toes in something smaller and size up demand,” Warnock said.

He said he discussed the Westwood Field House proposal with Dave Mirgon, founder of the Mid-Ohio Pumas, a member of the Amateur Athletic Union.

“There is a deficit of gym space in central Ohio,” said Mirgon, who rents about 500 hours a season at Columbus Parks and Recreation Department facilities to provide clinics, practices and game venues for the approximately 50 teams and 600 players in the Pumas AAU basketball program.

“We will make (Westwood Field House) our home,” he said, but still would need to use other facilities.

Boys and girls in grades 3 to 12 are eligible to play for the Mid-Ohio Pumas, and the staff includes Hilliard Bradley High School coach Brett Norris, Gahanna Lincoln High School coach Tony Staib, Dublin Coffman High School coach Jamey Collins, former Baldwin Wallace University coach and Coffman athletics director Duane Sheldon and Dallas Mavericks shooting coach Peter Patton.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo