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Sports club angling for former Pusey building
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Sports club angling for former Pusey building

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A local sports club is hoping to snare a former Council Bluffs school building.

Triple Play Sports has offered the Council Bluffs Community School District $75,000 for the former Pusey Elementary facility at 147 15th Ave. The board of Education will hold a public hearing on the offer during its Aug. 25 meeting and vote on the sale later in the meeting.

The club, operated by Brett Derrig and Deric Poldberg, both 2010 graduates of Thomas Jefferson High School, is currently renting 5,400 square feet of space in the building, including the gym, two weight rooms and a game room, said Derrig, who manages daily operations. Poldberg and Matt Minahan are there a couple days a week.

Derrig likes the building.

“It’s a great location,” he said. “It’s kind of in the middle of everything.”

At the same time, it’s in a residential neighborhood without a lot of traffic, he noted.

The club offers structured workouts and pitching, hitting and fielding lessons for young baseball players. It has installed three full-size hitting and throwing tunnels, a full-size competition pitcher’s mound, a pitching machine and weight training equipment for its members to use.

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“We see kids from all over the metro area,” as well as Atlantic, Glenwood, Shenandoah and other area communities, Derrig said.

Triple Play also fields four youth ball teams spanning ages from grade school through high school.

So far, the building suits the club well, Derrig said.

“It’s done us well for five years,” he said. “We’ve got plans for the property. We have plans to redo part of the parking lot. We’re going to redo lighting inside the building and get all LED. We’re going to redo parts of our HVAC system.”

The pandemic has dramatically affected the way Triple Play operates, Derrig said.

“With COVID, we’ve really kind of shut down our membership model, since we don’t feel it’s safe to have 20 to 25 people here,” he said. “Also, our season’s been delayed. We’ve just been doing individual lessons, with no more than one to three people at a time.”

Eventually, Triple Play wants to reopen for memberships but have members sign up for certain time slots so club officials can control the number of people in the facility, he said.

As a tenant, Triple Play has handled trash and janitorial services and snow removal. The school district has maintained the property and provided heat and other utilities.

The former Pusey Elementary School, named for Harvard University educator and Council Bluffs native Nathan M. Pusey, was built in 1957 and closed its doors as a Council Bluffs elementary school in 2010, and students from its attendance area were diverted to Longfellow Elementary School. Heartland Family Service leased the building for several years for its therapeutic school but moved that to the former DeForest Elementary School in 2014.

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