Another major milestone at Bicentennial Park was achieved in May with the completion of the newly-renovated and expanded Southlake Tennis Center. The facelift is part of the third and final phase of Bicentennial Park improvements, which also includes a completed trail system, synthetic turf field for the in-line hockey court, additional landscaping, and other park amenities.
In honor of the occasion, the City hosted an open house May 18 to unveil the new facility to the public. Guided tours, food and refreshments, a bounce house, and tennis activities for adults and youth allowed attendees to experience both indoor and outdoor spaces.
However, the main attraction was the new 6,100 square foot clubhouse that includes a much larger pro shop equipped with tennis apparel, shoes, bags, balls and racquets. Upgraded locker rooms offer players more restrooms, showers and dressing areas. A reception area with seating is located near the front entrance, and flat screens are placed throughout the building to display announcements and upcoming events. Tennis Center staff and pros have access to a private lounge, break room and work space with desks.
The Club Room is a multi-purpose space that connects to the covered patio via accordion-style doors. It is available for special events, meetings and luncheons. Upon completion of clubhouse renovations, two of the 19 tennis courts will be enclosed to allow for indoor play during inclement weather.
According to Frances Scharli, an avid tennis player and vice chairman of Southlake’s Parks & Recreation Board, the dramatic improvements will not go unnoticed.
“My team plays all over North Texas and our new Tennis Center is better than any other facility in the area, including private country clubs. It is state-of-the-art and superior in all aspects,” Scharli states. “I’m proud of the new facility as a Parks Board member, but I’m more proud of it as a tennis player.”
As Southlake has grown over the years, so has the popularity of the Southlake Tennis Center, which opened in 1999. Over the past decade, six additional tennis courts were added to the original 13, making it the largest public tennis facility in Tarrant County. With an original capacity for only a few staff members, the clubhouse could no longer accommodate the now 10 tennis pros and 22 personnel at the Southlake Tennis Center, not to mention the year-round, full-schedule of adult and junior players.
Scharli, who has played at Southlake Tennis Center since it opened, compares the new facility to the other top-notch recreational amenities the city offers.
“We are serving adults and children in a first-class way, just like everything else we do in Southlake…including ballfields, in-line hockey court and The Marq. We do it right and our citizens and visitors benefit from it,” she says.
The $8.8 million-dollar Bicentennial Park improvements are being funded by the Southlake Parks and Development Corporation (SPDC). Created in 1993, the SPDC administers the City’s half-cent sales tax allocated to parks-related capital projects.