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Sports complex coming to county’s eastern end

ROME TOWNSHIP — A new sports, training and therapy complex is currently being built on State Route 7 in Rome Township, and a groundbreaking for the facility took place Wednesday afternoon.

The facility, called Complex 7, will feature two regulation-size basketball courts, which can also be used for volleyball and indoor soccer, as well as an indoor walking track and a possible party room that can be rented out.

“This is a project that my husband, Scott Thomas, and I are doing,” Lesley Thomas said. “It’s going to be a recreation center for the community.”

She added that her family is really big into sports, especially basketball, with their oldest son, Luke Thomas, being a big part of the Fairland Dragons’ success the past four years and also set to walk on at Marshall University in the fall.

She said that the family has owned the property, across from Roman Harbor on State Route 7, for 10 years.

“My dad helped run a flower shop and greenhouse here, and then we bought the property from the people he worked for,” she said. “I’ve always envisioned something in the area for children. I grew up on the west end of Huntington, and if it wasn’t for the boys’ club there, I don’t know where I’d be.”

Complex 7 will be able to host AAU basketball tournaments, volleyball tournaments, adult leagues, and indoor soccer. Thomas also said she hopes to be able to have an area for baseball and softball batting practice as well.

The couple also owns two homes next to the property, which she said would eventually be knocked down in order to expand, with the possibility of adding some golf putting greens.

The Thomas’ business partner, Chris Lane, is also set to open his own business, Boom Box, which will feature sports training and several different therapy options, inside of Complex 7.

“The whole complex is going to be 20,000 square feet, and 3,500 square feet of that will be for Boom Box,” Lane, who is originally from Chesapeake, said. “It’s a hybrid therapy, fitness and wellness center.”

Some things that Boom Box will provide include free weights, machines and cardio equipment for strength and agility training, cryotherapy in a full body cryno sauna or crynotherapy spot treatment, a salt room used for detoxifying, an infrared sauna, which uses light to create heat, Chinese cupping and more.

“I was at the Marshall rec as a fitness and wellness trainer for eight years,” Lane said. “And I still do athlete training at schools or their facilities, and I have my own home studio as well.”

Lane said that details of memberships and programs are still in the works, but that there will be a tier of membership options for Complex 7, Boom Box, both or “a la carte.”

“Boom Box will have around 20 employees, which will include personal trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, group exercise instructors, skill specific coaches and therapists,” he said. “We’ll have a variety of options, from group fitness classes, types of cross training, one-on-one personal training, small group training, entire team performance and therapy services.”

Lane said the name Complex 7 was thought of because it is located on State Route 7, but that the name Boom Box has multiple levels to it, stating that the “box” part comes from the large, open, warehouse type space, the “boom” part comes from the intensity and fun of training, and that the place will also have retro 80s theme to it.

Thomas said she is excited to be able to provide such a place for the community, and is looking forward to being able to hire some local youth and adults for positions.

“I think everyone’s excited about it,” she said.

Complex 7 and Boom Box are hoped to be open by September of this year.