Progress continues on a new indoor tennis facility at Old Fort Park that will partner MTSU with the City of Murfreesboro in expanding local recreational amenities while enhancing MTSU’s tennis program.
City Parks and Recreation Department Director Lanny Goodwin presented the Parks and Recreation Commission with an update Tuesday, July 2, on the facility, including renderings of what the facility will look like when completed in early 2015.
Goodwin also advised that the City Council approved a construction contract and partnership agreement with MTSU on June 26, according to a city news release.
Ground was broken on the facility in October 2013. The partnership between the university and the city means that for the first time since 2008, the Blue Raider tennis teams will have an indoor facility in Murfreesboro. Currently, the teams play at Nashboro Village, located nearly 30 miles northwest of campus in Nashville.
“We certainly hope the MTSU tennis teams will be able to practice in the new facility in January when construction should be substantially completed,” Goodwin said. “Players should be able to use the courts even though final punch out won’t be until Jan. 30, 2015, with an official opening sometime in mid-February if everything goes as planned.”
The city is partnering with MTSU and the Christy Houston Foundation on the new $5.8 million facility at Old Fort Park adjacent to the 16-court outdoor complex. The city will remove the existing 11,000-square-foot Ag Center and construct a 70,000-square-foot indoor tennis facility with eight courts and support facilities.
MTSU will have priority usage from 1 to 4 p.m., with the Murfreesboro community having access during evening hours.
Goodwin told the commission that fees for community usage are still being ironed out with a proposed business plan for the complex, which will be presented to commissioners at a future meeting. At its June 26 meeting, the Murfreesboro City Council approved bids for construction on the project to be provided by Hardcastle Construction Inc. and for Lose & Associates, Inc. to provide architecture and site planning.
An aerial view rendition provided by Lose & Associates of the new tennis complex shows how the new facility will connect to the older outdoor courts and additional parking. Another rendition shows a drive-in view of the complex. The facility will have two floors with a mezzanine for spectator viewing that will include bleachers, tables and chairs. An awning will extend from the new facility toward the outdoor tennis courts to provide shading for special events.
“We want to express our deep appreciation to MTSU for agreeing to provide $1.7 million to the project,” added Goodwin. “We could not have been able to move forward on this worthwhile community endeavor without MTSU’s support.”
The tennis project is part of the university’s $80 million Centennial Campaign announced in April 2012.