Sports nonprofit aims for $9.5 million facility in Fairborn

A rendering of the proposed 937 Hoop Dreams complex in Fairborn. Contributed.
Caption
A rendering of the proposed 937 Hoop Dreams complex in Fairborn. Contributed.

FAIRBORN — A local youth sports organization hopes to build a $9.5 million multipurpose facility in Fairborn that could host regional and national tournaments, if it can get funding support.

The plan from 937 Hoop Dreams is to build a 43,000 square-foot facility including five full-sized basketball courts, two classrooms, a fitness gym, a barbershop, two batting cages and four soccer and baseball fields, according to a submission on the Dayton Development Coalition’s website.

937 Hoop Dreams is a youth sports organization that has an education component and focuses on youth who lack positive role models, according to the submission and their website. The group has been in place for about five years, said managing director Wade O’Connor, a former University of Dayton assistant basketball coach.

ExploreDelta’s second wave? Cases, hospitalizations increasing in Ohio again

O’Connor said the plan is to fundraise aggressively in the next year, and the organization hopes to break ground within the next year.

The city of Fairborn wrote a submission for funding to the Dayton Region Priority Development & Advocacy Committee (PDAC), asking for $4.4 million on behalf of 937 Hoop Dreams. The submission says the project already has $767,000 in private contributions and fundraising efforts began in May 2021.

PDAC helps establish regional priorities for the Dayton Development Coalition as it seeks funding for local projects that benefit economic development, health, education or quality of life in the region, according to the DDC.

Greene County Commissioners Rick Perales, Tom Koogler, and Dick Gould wrote a letter in support of the project, saying the facility is expected to have a significant economic impact in the community.

The commissioners said they expect to see $2.8 million in added Greene County revenue in the first year of operation, and about $8.6 million projected in its third year. The economic impact would be generated from the facility’s yearly programming as well as a place where regional and national tournaments for youth basketball, volleyball, soccer, baseball and softball could be held.

“937 Hoop Dreams’ programming saves children’s lives, and the new facility would give 937 Hoop Dreams a bigger platform to do so,” the commissioners wrote.

Between one and 10 jobs would be created, and the average salary for the jobs would be between $25,001 and $50,000, according to the submission. Other temporary positions would be tied to tournaments.

ExploreNew details: Massive Mendelsons building to become apartments, offices, retail

O’Connor said 937 Hoop Dreams is currently working out of the old Salvation Army building downtown and using some of Sinclair Community College’s space.

He said 937 Hoop Dreams picked the location in Fairborn because there was a lot of land available, and it is close to both I-75 and I-70, and is right off I-675.

“Just a lot different opportunities for the kids of Greene County and the surrounding area,” he said.

The city of Fairborn said the city and the county are planning to work with 937 Hoop Dreams to find grants and funding opportunities.

“One of the concerns voiced by the Fairborn residents has surrounded the limited opportunities in the community for youth,” said Meghan Howard, spokesman for the city of Fairborn.

Howard said O’Connor has a great reputation for building successful organizations that are community minded and focused on helping youth achieve success on the court and in the classroom.

“While this project is still in the fundraising stage, we are excited for the vision that 937 Hoop Dreams has for this project and see this as a great opportunity to provide a positive outlet for Fairborn youth and beyond,” she said.

ExploreGreene County Sheriff remembered as “good leader and good friend”

About the Author