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updated: 6/4/2013 10:07 PM

Grayslake gives early OK to sports dome plan near CLC

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  • Wauconda High School girls softball pitcher Kayla Wedl played in March in Rosemont's air-supported sports dome. A similar sports dome proposal has surfaced in Grayslake.

      Wauconda High School girls softball pitcher Kayla Wedl played in March in Rosemont's air-supported sports dome. A similar sports dome proposal has surfaced in Grayslake.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer


Grayslake trustees have agreed plans for a sports dome proposed near College of Lake County should continue to proceed through the village's approval process.

At a meeting Tuesday night, the village board held an informal discussion on the concept plan from Power Alleys Sports Dome. It would be a 180,000-square-foot, air-supported dome on the south side of Washington Street near CLC's flagship campus.

Village Manager Mike Ellis said the dome would be on 10 acres where the Glunz family received permission to build a full-fledged winery in 2010. He said the family no longer intends to build the winery.

Similar to other suburban venues, Power Alleys would be capable of hosting baseball and softball competition, along with providing indoor space for lacrosse, soccer and football. Power Alleys also proposes a restaurant and a bar with wine and beer service along with a fitness facility.

Grayslake's six trustees raised some questions but agreed they liked the concept enough that it should continue in the approval process and go before the advisory zoning board of appeals. The village board would get the final word on the proposal.

Trustee Bruce Bassett said he's concerned about the potential for the limited-use dome of becoming a "white elephant" if Power Alleys fails. He said he'd want assurances the business is financially sound.

"This is a baseball town, so I'm sure there are a number of people who would be interested in that," Bassett said.

Brothers Kevin and Gregory Belcher, along with former major league baseball player Von Hayes, are behind the Power Alleys proposal for Grayslake. Hayes played from 1981 to 1992, mostly as a Philadelphia Phillies outfielder.

Kevin Belcher told the village board that softball and baseball would be the facility's focus. He said an outside operator would be sought for the restaurant and bar.

In Rosemont, a 140,000-square-foot, air-supported sports dome opened this year. Dome at the Ballpark offers local and regional athletic teams, including the Chicago Bandits professional women's softball team, an indoor space to practice year round.

Some Lake County high school teams played games at the Rosemont dome this year. Dome at the Ballpark has two indoor diamonds with outfield fences, five batting cages and training and concession areas.

Power Alleys struck out when its representatives presented an idea to the Waukegan Park District in January 2012. Meeting minutes show Mayor Wayne Motley, then a park commissioner, said the district could build its own sports dome on taxpayer-owned land if the project were considered worthwhile rather than enter a venture with Power Alleys.

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