YOUNGSTOWN – The city is considering selling the long-closed South Fieldhouse and little-used soccer field nearby.
“We get 15 to 20 inquiries a week for either potential developments or individuals asking what we’re doing with them or nonprofits that are interested,” said Dawn Turnage, the city’s parks and leisure director.
For those interested in the sports complex on Erie Street on the South Side, the city offers two open days. They are Wednesday and October 20th from 3pm to 7pm. A hard hat and mask are required to enter the field house.
After the inspection and assessment, the city will decide whether the property will go up for sale, Turnage said.
“The decision to sell is still pending,” she said. “I would love to see it used as a community resource as a sports complex. I see potential for that. The field can be used for soccer or football. “
The city has tried unsuccessfully to sell the property over the years.
In January 2008, a $ 200,000 deal was closed to sell the field house to Eagle Heights Academy, a charter school operated from the nearby former South High School on Market Street.
But the deal never went through, and Eagle Heights closed after receiving an academic emergency assessment from the Ohio Department of Education for two consecutive years in 2009 and 2010. Also in 2010, the Ohio auditor found the school failed to pay $ 333,722 in federal income tax withholding and $ 120,658 in Medicare withholding.
In 2017, a group tried to raise funds to rehabilitate the field house. The effort grossed $ 234 online.
The field house has been closed for about a decade.
When it opened in December 1940, it was used for basketball games by Youngstown State University, then known as Youngstown College, and South High School, which closed in 1993. The field house was also used for several other activities and events.
The soccer field is currently used by the Valley Christian School on Southern Boulevard for soccer practice and some games, Turnage said.
It was used by others for soccer years ago.
During a Peewee game in August 2006, a 31-year-old man was shot dead in front of a crowd in the stands. The stands have since been torn down.
A 2017 appraisal of the property estimated that the field house renovation would cost approximately $ 1.5 million.
“Asbestos is a problem,” said Turnage. “But the floors and changing rooms are in good condition. Repairing the indoor field house would cost a lot. The inner shell is in good condition, although the outer shell has cracks. It’s not as bad as some from the outside would think. “