Ground was broken in Jefferson Thursday on a 47,800-square-foot sports complex that will serve runners; baseball, softball, soccer and basketball players; golfers and other athletes.
The Xcel Sports Complex is the dream of Dr. Todd Goldbeck, owner of Xcel Sports Training and Xcel Physical Therapy in Jefferson.
In its first phase of development, the facility will include indoor batting cages for baseball and softball, golf cages, a virtual golf simulator, two full-sized basketball courts meeting high school regulations, a 24/7 fitness center and a 220-yard running track with a poured-rubber surface. Inside the track will be an Astroturf field that could be used for football, soccer and baseball.
Located along Pitzner Parkway behind Piggly Wiggly, the complex also will be home to Goldbeck’s own physical therapy clinic, currently located at 621 W. Racine St.
His business started as Xcel Sports Training, running football camps and clinics for high-schoolers. Then he opened the Xcel Physical Therapy clinic.
Goldbeck earned a doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 1998. He has become well known for establishing the early-morning Xcel fitness “boot camps” held at the high school for community members. That program will transition to the new facility once it is built.
The boot camps have become very popular since being started about five years ago. In exchange for being allowed to use school facilities, the boot camps have donated $20,000 back to the local schools for fitness equipment and athletic uniforms.
Also added to phase one since the first draft of the complex are two racquet ball courts and a wrestling and martial arts room.
The gym owner also has plans for a second phase of construction that would include an additional 90,000 square feet with another eight indoor basketball courts, four indoor tennis courts and four racquetball courts. The fitness center and locker rooms also would be extended, as well as an area designated as a kitchen and concession stand for potential basketball and volleyball tournaments.
Weather permitting, construction is expected to begin in the next week, with a completion date of December.
Attending the groundbreaking Thursday were officials representing the city, Jefferson Chamber of Commerce and the School District of Jefferson, as well as members of Goldbeck’s clinic and boot camp programs.
Representing the city, Mayor Dale Oppermann said the gym owner’s proposal was “a pleasant surprise.
“It’s been a cornfield for so long, but we had hoped that it would someday be developed,” he said.
The mayor added that the location presents the potential for further housing developing — made more attractive by the site’s close proximity to the State Highway 26 interchange.
Goldbeck, a 1992 Jefferson High School alumnus, said he saw a need for athletic space on a grander scale in his hometown and its surrounding community.
“From my days at Sullivan Elementary to the middle school and then to the high school, having a facility like this would have been really awesome for us kids at the time,” Goldbeck told the Jefferson Plan Commission on Wednesday prior to its approval of his site plan.
The sports complex, located on a 5.5 acre site, will be constructed on a planned city tax increment financing district.
A tax incremental financing district is a way for a municipality to borrow against an area’s future growth in tax base in order to make loans funding development projects. The property value is frozen in a TIF district or TID for tax purposes. Tax revenue from an increase in value, called an “increment,” may be used to promote development. The city can spend or lend money for a number of purposes, including streets and sewers, parking and direct financing for a development.
Once the investment is made, increments are used for repayment. The mayor said the city would “borrow” from the TIF district to pay for the improvements.
The proposed TID would be the eighth in the city and help to facilitate a full extension of water and sewer to the location, as well as encourage further development of the westside site, which is located between the grocery store and the Jefferson County Fair Park.
During a March 30 meeting, the Jefferson Common Council approved a $5,200 contract with Ehlers and Associates to undertake a feasibility study. Estimated to be completed in 45 days, the study would determine whether creating TIF District 8 is a statutorily and financially feasible option to promote new development.
The boundaries of the TIF District would include Spangler Road to the north, U.S. Highway 18/Racine Street to the south, Jackson Street to the east and Pitzner Parkway to the west.