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Five Southern Section Tennis Facilities Honored For Excellence As 2007 USTA Facility Award Winners

November 27, 2007 09:48 AM

The USTA announced the winners of its 26th annual USTA Facility Awards Program, recognizing excellence in the construction and/or renovation of public tennis facilities throughout the country. Of the eighteen winners, five represent the Southern Section. Burns Park Tennis Center in North Little Rock, Arkansas, North Bossier Park Tennis Center in Bossier City, Louisiana and Southeast Park & Tennis Facility in Columbia, South Carolina were honored in the Public Courts: Large Tennis Centers division. Melrose Tennis Center in Daufuskie Island, South Carolina was honored in the Public Courts: Small Tennis Centers division. Receiving the award for the best private facility supporting USTA and other Growth of the Game programs is North Hills Club in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Burns Park Tennis Center – North Little Rock, Arkansas
Burns Park Tennis Center, managed by the Arkansas Tennis Association, offers a variety of programs and lessons for players of all ages. The facility features 29 hard courts, 23 of which are outdoors. In addition to 17 lighted courts, the park also features a cold snack bar, rental clubhouse, racquetball courts and a tennis pro shop. The enormity of the park enables them to host national tournaments in all age groups throughout the year. The tournament house includes tables and chairs for guests, in addition to the 14 sets of bleachers, six of which are under a cover and shaded from the sun.

North Bossier Park Tennis Center – Bossier City, Louisiana
The City Council of Bossier City appropriated $1 million towards the construction of the tennis center at the request of citizen tennis players in early 2006. Prior to the completion of the facility, there was no publicly accessible tournament-quality tennis court in the city. Now that the facility is complete, more tennis matches are being played at the North Bossier Park Tennis Center than almost anywhere else in the region. The tennis center features 12 lighted courts, two sets of bleachers with the capacity to add more, covered patios between court bays, a terraced viewing lawn, pro shop and snack bar.

Southeast Park & Tennis Facility – Columbia, South Carolina
The scenic tennis center, located in the new Southeast Park, features four Har-Tru clay courts and 12 asphalt hard courts carefully tucked into the existing tree canopy, near a scenic boardwalk skirting a six-acre pond. The courts are shaded by thousands of trees that blanket the 62-acre park. With the modest clearing of the wooded area around the park, the natural landscape was preserved and a recreational haven for the surrounding neighborhood was created. Future plans include adding 14 additional tennis courts, an environmental education center built into the hillside, as well as a boathouse that will encompass a pro shop, tennis office, lockers and restrooms.

Melrose Tennis Center – Daufuskie Island, South Carolina
The Melrose Tennis Center at the Daufuskie Island Resort and Breathe Spa is one of the most tranquil and beautiful tennis facilities in the country. Daufuskie Island sits one mile off the tip of Hilton Head Island and has no bridge to connect it to the mainland. Guests arrive by private passenger ferry and get around by golf cart, bicycle, horseback, or on foot. The eight tennis courts at the Stan Smith-designed facility are nestled among the towering pines and live oaks spread out across ten acres. Some of the programs include daily private tennis clinics, complimentary court time and access to all Daufuskie Island amenities, which include a beach club, three swimming pools, two golf courses, a small fitness center and spa, an equestrian center, children's programs, and four restaurants and lounges.

North Hills Club – Raleigh, North Carolina
In 1961 the North Hills Club was incorporated with a clubhouse, three hard tennis courts and one pool. Since that time, the Club has grown into a full-scale family oriented athletic facility. Today the club’s amenities include 18 tennis courts, a large pro shop, a 26,000 square-foot club house, three swimming pools complete with a pool house facility, an outdoor pavilion and a children’s playground. The patio overlooking the 14 clay courts and four hard courts provides ample viewing opportunities. All courts are lighted and the grounds are maintained daily. This club regularly plays host to USTA tournaments.

Facilities under consideration must be under the jurisdiction of a Parks and Recreation Department, an educational institution, a non-profit corporation, or private and commercially owned and operated facilities that offer USTA and other Growth of the Game programs to the public. Facilities were judged upon the following criteria: overall layout and adaptation to site; excellence of court surface and lights; ease of maintenance; accommodations for players, spectators and press/officials; aesthetics; graphics, including the use of signs and landscaping; amenities such as casual seating for spectators, food services and social areas; and their involvement in programs supporting the USTA and the growth of tennis.

The 2007 facility Awards Program winners are:

Public Courts: Large Tennis Centers (11 or more courts)
Burns Park Tennis Center – North Little Rock, Ark.
El Paso Youth Tennis Center – El Paso, Texas
Frank Veltri Tennis Center – Plantation, Fla.
North Bossier Park Tennis Center – Bossier City, La.
Paseo Racquet Center – Glendale, Ariz.
Southeast Park & Tennis Facility – Columbia, S.C.
Wailea Tennis Club – Wailea, Maui, Hawaii
Westwood Tennis Center – Norman, Okla.
Whispering Pines Tennis Center – Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Public Courts: Small Tennis Centers (2-10 courts)
City of Farmington Tennis Complex – Farmington, N.M.
McCook Public Schools – McCook, Neb.
Melrose Tennis Center – Daufuskie Island, S.C.
Oconomowoc Community Tennis Center – Oconomowoc, Wis.

Private Facilities
Copper River Country Club – Fresno, Calif.
North Hills Club – Raleigh, N.C.
Rochester Athletic Club – Rochester, Minn.

Collegiate Tennis Centers
JoAnn Murphy Medlock Center – Tyler, Texas
University Tennis Center, University of Mary Washington – Fredericksburg, Va.

All 2007 Awards winners will receive a wooden wall plaque and an all-weather sign, which can be mounted on the outside of the facility. Certificates of award will be made available to park and recreation departments, schools, and professionals responsible for the design, construction, and maintenance of the facility. In addition, a one-year complimentary membership to the USTA will be awarded to each winning facility.




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