Tabor College’s bowling team will have a new home next season.
Hillsboro Development Corp., Tabor College, and other investors, have purchased Trail Lanes.
“Tabor College was given the naming rights because of their funding contributions,” city development director Clint Seibel said. “The name will change to Blue Jay Lanes.”
“We hope to have the business open full time, have and for it to be a place that more than just bowlers enjoy,” Seibel said.
Blue Jay Lanes will have eight lanes, a concession stand, and room for a youth center.
Two former offices have been remodeled, Seibel said. One will be a lounge with a big screen TV and WiFi. The other will be a video game room.
Seibel said six local donors contributed $130,000 total to the project, which began with $2,000, stemmed from a grant received two years before.
“We were able to survey our youth and figure out what the city needed to bring young people into Hillsboro, and make them more likely to come back and stay,” Seibel said.
The city decided to seek investors and purchase the bowling alley to fill that need.
“The alley was open by appointment only,” Seibel said. “That made it hard for anyone to use it.”
Remodeling on the alley began July 1. Seibel hopes to have the business up and running by mid-August, when the bowling team will start practicing.
“It might not be open to the public at that time,” Seibel said. “But we hope to have the complete remodel done by September at the very latest.”
The city has hired Tabor bowling coach Todd Zenner to manage the alley.
Rusty Allen vice president of enrollment and athletics at Tabor College said a new lane machine will prepare lanes “like they are in competitions”.
“We hope this will help the team get better and become more competitive,” he said.
Allen said the remodeled building would help with recruitment, be a better place to practice, and help Tabor sponsor tournaments.
“We saw the purchase as a worthwhile investment and were glad to partner with the community and other investors to make it happen,” Allen said. “We’re really excited and hope it will be a positive thing for the community, especially for young people.”