Roddick Foundation tennis facility takes center court in Granite Shoals

JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF

GRANITE SHOALS — As a singles match was being played on one court and mixed doubles on the other, Granite Shoals City Manager Ken Nickel outlined his vision for the community’s parks and recreation areas.

Nickel was enjoying the soft opening of the two regulation courts at the Andy Roddick Foundation Tennis Center on Dec. 18. Those courts, which are across from the QuickStart courts designed for players 10 and younger, are the first of 16 regulation-size courts.

But Nickel saw much more as he pointed to different pieces of the property.

The building next to the two courts was dark, but Nickel envisions a soccer field big enough for 15-and-under teams and volleyball and basketball courts.

In the gravel parking area, he saw the 14 regulation tennis courts.

Scott Kilpatrick serves during a doubles match while trying out the new courts of the Andy Roddick Foundation Tennis Center in Granite Shoals on Dec. 18. Athletes played during a soft opening.
Scott Kilpatrick serves during a doubles match while trying out the new courts of the Andy Roddick Foundation Tennis Center in Granite Shoals on Dec. 18. Athletes played during a soft opening.

“I believe what’s important for Granite Shoals is we are trying to give a variety of activities to our residents,” he said. “We’re looking at opportunities for other grants for our children and residents.”

The city manager noted that having a facility with a roof was unique to the area and would provide a great shelter in inclement weather. He said August is when the city will submit grant applications.

He added those facilities for the other sports would not be possible without the Andy Roddick Foundation Tennis Center.

“I think they’re going to help drive that expense,” he said.

The official grand opening for the courts, 2221 N. Phillips Ranch Road, is Jan. 7 at 3:45 p.m. Dave Holder of the Roddick Youth Tennis Center Foundation said members of the Roddick family are scheduled to speak at the event.    

The courts are not simply concrete. The surface, Plexicushion, is made by Plexipave. The company’s surface also is found at the Australian Open and the Indian Wells tournament. The cost of the two courts was about $145,000.

Athletes are welcome to play on the courts, but because of the unique surface, tennis shoes are required, Holder said.

Mayor Dennis Maier chuckled when asked if he brought his racket.

“Only if they want a joker,” he said with a smile. “It’s been a long time, a lot of work. It’s good to see people working together. We are pleased to have this here in Granite Shoals. We’re working hard to help install the courts. Having covered tennis courts is a rarity.”

“To see all the effort of all the vendors, to do it at cost, to make it a reality,” the city’s parks commission chairman Seth Smith said, “it’s a testament to our community and all the people (who’ve helped).”

The construction groundbreaking for the Leonel Manzano Hike and Bike Trails is scheduled for Jan. 2.

“I’m extremely excited and satisfied seeing an idea come to an reality,” he said. “We are a city on the move. We’ve updated our street maintenance, we’re trying to do more with (Highland Lakes Elementary) school.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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