New owners resurrecting Warrenton complex as Total Turf Sports
Friday, Feb. 1
Debbie Hefty and Alex Czajkowski have revamped the sports complex on Falmouth Street as Total Turf Sports. --Times-Democrat Staff Photo/Randy Litzinger
Alex Czajkowski and Debbie Hefty picked up the baton.
They’re the latest people to invest in the idea of providing indoor sports fields in Warrenton.
That baton was dropped by the likes of In-Motion Sports & Dance and The Fauquier Sandlot Academy, which only briefly set up shop in town over the past decade. Czajkowski and Hefty believe the community still desires that sort of sports complex and that they have a better business plan than planners of past ventures.
That’s why they will soon open Total Turf Sports at 615 Falmouth St.
“Those that have failed have been a single-sport entity or dabbled in everything but mastered nothing,” Czajkowski said. “There’s nothing wrong with picking up where someone else left off as long as you don’t make the same mistakes.”
Czajkowski and Hefty, an engaged couple from Haymarket, are leasing part of the space previously occupied by In-Motion Sports.
“The last impression of that place will not be the first impression of this place,” Czajkowski said. “Things were running amok and they had issues. People got a bad taste in their mouth. … We’re here for the long haul. We’ll appease the palettes of people.”
They plan to do that by offering both indoor and outdoor fields for everything from soccer and field hockey to flag football and basketball. Soccer and field hockey will be the main focus of Total Turf during its early existence.
The owners hope to open for business by Friday with three indoor synthetic turf fields in place. Then they will add features to their complex over time.
Two of the turf surfaces – one green and one blue – will be used as boarded playing fields, approximately 90 by 60 yards. A yellow turf training surface, approximately 60 by 50, will separate those two playing fields.
“It’s designed for soccer … but any sport that involves playing on grass, we want you in our building,” said Czajkowski, a former professional indoor soccer player whose resume includes an abundance of jobs in the sports and entertainment industries. “We’re still finding out exactly what the [community] needs are.”
Czajkowski said teams from Fauquier County Soccer Club, Virginia Soccer Association and Warrenton Youth Sports Club are already lined up to use the facility. He also expects the fields to be used for lacrosse and dodge ball, among other sports.
“It’s a win-win for the schools, community, town government and especially for the kids,” Czajkowski said. “Keeping them off the streets, keeping their noses clean, teaching them a craft and stimulating the local sports community.
“We’re in the kid business,” said Czajkowski, who has three children while Hefty has four. “We’re the Brady Bunch.”
In the spirit of that, Total Turf Sports will use an antimicrobial product on its fields to protect against bacteria and pathogens.
“It might not be Warrenton’s most majestic building, but … not only will it be the most colorful turf around, it will be the most clean and well-kept,” Czajkowski said.
Total Turf Sports occupies about a third of the space available to lease in the building. Czajkowski and Hefty hope to acquire additional space, which would allow them to add basketball courts.
A place for food service is in the works, too, he said. The Total Turf owners would like an established restaurant to move in or they’ll alternatively offer their own snacks, drinks, grilled foods and beer.
By April, Czajkowski said they plan to add outdoor fields after getting a grading permit from the town. They want to build a synthetic field and four small sand soccer fields between Falmouth St. and the building, which is set back significantly on the property.
“Come March, kids want to go outside,” Czajkowski said. “Nobody that I know of has done the indoor and the outdoor facility. … It’s ideal for camps. There’s food service. If it gets too hot outside, you go inside.”
The sand soccer areas can also double as volleyball courts if there’s a demand.
Hefty and Czajkowski originally planned to base Total Turf Sports in Haymarket, but after beginning work on site they found they couldn’t come to an agreement with both the town government and the building owner.
Czajkowski said he didn’t want to invest more money into the property only to lose his lease after a year.
“So pick up the piece and kind of move on,” he said. “Warrenton seemed to embrace us with open arms. … It’s cool to see everything coming together with community support, government support and owner support. We didn’t get that kind of support in Haymarket.”