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‘Total Turf Experience’ in Mantua, NJ will redefine the ultimate sports recreation facility

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On July 6th, ground was broken in Mantua, New Jersey on what will be the ultimate multi-sports complex facility in the area.
 
Total Turf Experience is set to open in November 2011. The 42,000 square foot facility will include indoor soccer, baseball/softball, arena football, lacrosse and field hockey. There will be six professional-style, lighted and environmentally controlled indoor turf fields. There will also be outdoor fields, 5 acres of secure, lighted parking, and a 30,000 square. foot operations building to include a fine foods bistro and sporting goods store.

The ceremony, which included New Jersey State Senator and Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D) along with Congressman Robert Andrews (D), was a culmination of over four years of blood sweat and tears from a team of four men who wanted to make their vision a reality:  Jerry McGough, Brad Yates, former professional soccer player Andy Logar, and Bob Loftus.The four men responsible for bringing 'Total Turf' to Mantua. Photo: Joe Vallee Jr.

“We have 12 children among us. The focus here is on kids and job creation and turning this area into something that’s never been built on. We were going to venues that weren’t as conducive: sightlines were hard to see, the food was difficult to eat, so we jokingly put together this concept. That was March of four years ago, and here we are today,” says a proud McGough.

Normally a project of this undertaking would be delayed for years with red tape and litigation, but McGough said surprisingly that this was the easy part.

“The difficult part was the banking. In this economy, it was really, really tough to secure a facility that would take a risk on new construction and take a chance on a concept that quite frankly isn’t out there. The red tape for permits did not exist. It was really the banking. Mantua is a terrific town. It’s very progressive, and they completely understand what we’re trying to do. We’re a stable company for the town, so this is perfect.”

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Congressman Andrews believes Total Turf will help the township of Mantua on a variety of levels.

“It means jobs, it means tax revenue for the town, and a great recreational center for families coming together here to enrich their family life. That to me, is a three-way win as far as I’m concerned,” said Andrews.

 


Mantua Township Committeewoman Sharon Lawrence gives much credit to township economic development coordinator Michelle Bruner for her tireless dedication in making sure the project was a possibility.Senator Stephen Sweeny and Congressman Rob Andrews were in attendance Wednesday at Total Turf's Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. Photo: Joe Vallee Sr.

“It was a lot of hard work. Michelle had a vision, and It was the groundwork that she did," says Lawrence. Brownsfield is an area in need of development because it’s underutilized and not meeting it’s potential. She did a lot of research and got us to this point. There are also other areas that are ready for redevelopment as well. This will hit a lot of different areas. It’s something extra that  makes this township very desireable.”

Bruner however, was quite modest in her role.

“That’s my job, and I take it seriously and I do it for my community. It’s something close to our hearts. I have children and a husband who works hard every day. For us, this is really a moment where you see everything come to fruition. And a moment to really celebrate hard work. We had to continue to stay focused and persevere and that’s what we did. Today is the day.”



For more information, visit http://totalturf.net

Special thanks to Laini and Freddie Bianculli and Debbie Sbarra.

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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Photos: Joe Vallee Sr. (josephv985@aol.com )