Granite Shoals rethinks more tennis courts at sports complex

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO

Granite Shoals sports complex at Quarry Park

The Quarry Park building next to Granite Shoals City Hall is home to two full-size tennis courts built by the Roddick Youth Tennis Foundation. City officials want to create a sports complex with volleyball, basketball, pickleball, and shuffleboard courts. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

Granite Shoals city leaders are re-evaluating the Roddick Youth Tennis Foundation’s plans to build four more tennis courts at Quarry Park.

During the City Council’s regular meeting May 14, council members approved allowing city staff to request a meeting with foundation officials regarding the tennis courts. City Manager Jeff Looney said that, after re-examining the contract between Granite Shoals and the foundation, the city isn’t sure building four additional courts is “the best idea.”

The foundation built two full-size tennis courts and two quick courts, which are smaller in dimension for children.

“We don’t have that many people utilizing the courts,” Looney said.

In March 2017, the city received a $500,000 grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to build a multi-purpose sports facility at Quarry Park, 2221 N. Phillips Ranch Road. The city is providing the building and the land. The sports facility plan includes two volleyball courts, two basketball courts, three batting cages, one shuffleboard courts, and one pickleball court inside the building where the existing tennis courts are located. Outside would be two soccer fields, a softball field, and a youth baseball field.

The proposed location for the four outdoor tennis courts could be better utilized for something else, city officials said.

The council also approved a contract with Irvin Steel for structure work on the sports complex building.

In addition, Looney told the council that the existing restroom at Quarry Park needs to be renovated at an estimated cost of $25,000 instead of replaced. Looney said the city would like for the work to start in the beginning of summer.

Drivers should also expect more delays on Phillips Ranch Road starting May 17 as crews continue paving portions of the roadway. Looney said the section between Blue Castle to New Briar will be closed for several days.

In other business:

• City staff told the council they are looking at bond options to address upgraded water lines at a projected cost of $9 million and a water tower at $2 million. Looney said the city will “have to take it in phases” and decide how best to present the options to voters.

• The council learned that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is studying flood damage to the city’s parks and pumps to provide a cost estimate for repairs.

• City staff told the council they are already looking for business sponsors to help with GraniteFest 2020. The first event, held April 27, cost about $24,000.

• The city recognized Burnet County employee Will Homer for his work toward helping complete Phase 1 of construction on the city’s three main arterial roads: Phillips Ranch Road, Prairie Creek, and Valley View.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

One Response to “Granite Shoals rethinks more tennis courts at sports complex”

  1. Dennis McCoy says:

    Finally Mr. Looney has publicly stated what has been apparent for several years. ““We don’t have that many people utilizing the courts,” Looney said.” The entire farc of the Tennis project was said it would become a income generator for the city. According to all studies, even by the Tennis Assns. that has never been done. Also there are more tennis courts within the region than those same tennis associations say is practical even before the GS courts were built on a 15 year free lease of buildings and approx. 7-8 acres of prime land. In addition, there may be a problem of using both the tennis courts leased land and the “sports complex” joke needed land area. The facts are clear that even Mr. Roddick and his foundation pulled out of the deal and handed it over to another organization that did not, and does not have development funds. Meanwhile the citizens have been paying for all of that same land that the city has been essentially “giving away” for free instead of utilizing it for a bonafied and verified economic generation purposes. The “sports complex” is just another variation of the same tennis court economic fallacy and none has been shown to be such a income generator. In fact, the vast majority of these ventures have been costly to maintain and much more than income derived. The balance sheets will prove to always be in the negative for the citizens. The Grant for that “sports complex” fiasco would have better served the citizens by upgrading and improving the badly needed facilities in the local community parks which do not even have a single basketball nor volleyball court in any of the city’s 18 parks. A very sad statement as to the city’s real concerns for the youth and families.

    Sadly also, there is again a direction of skewering the tax-payers for the bad water system problems that were ignored for the sake of the Road bonds that did not concern the bad streets and drainage problems. The EPA has known and improved, and has gained more funds to assist small cities like GS and their bad water but the city ignores and rejects the help and funding in order to continue increasing it’s higher taxes and failing directions to save what little face there is for their proven failures. Textbook on what cities should not do. WOW! They even re-elected those responsible.

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