SPRING ARBOR, Mich. – Spring Arbor University announced today (June 2) that the groundbreaking ceremony for its new tennis facility will take place at 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 9, at the Cougar Tennis Courts.
Demolition of the current tennis facility has already begun, and major upgrades are scheduled for the new Ronald L. and Marvel C. Jones Tennis Complex, which includes the complete rebuilding of the existing courts with post-tensioned concrete. Two new courts are also being added, bringing the total number of courts to eight. In addition to the new world-class courts and playing surface, the plans also include a clubhouse building with locker rooms for use by the teams.
The upgrades were made possible thanks to a generous gift from Ron and Marvel Jones, who wanted to support the tennis program.
“We are extremely thankful for the generosity of Ron and Marvel Jones and their tremendous investment in the lives of Spring Arbor University students,” said Brent Ellis, SAU President. “This gift enables our tennis programs to continue to recruit excellent student-athletes as well as provide an outstanding tennis venue for our teams and our community.”
While the Jones’ lead gift helped make the tennis project a reality, additional funds from alumni and friends of the University were also an important factor and opportunities to be involved are still available. If you would like to learn more or have questions about this project, contact Linda Schaub, executive director of development.
In addition to improving playing conditions, the additional courts will allow the University to host tournaments and other community events.
“Having a first-class facility for our athletes and the greater Spring Arbor community will be a huge blessing,” said SAU head women’s tennis coach Bobby Pratt (’92).
Spring Arbor men’s tennis coach Terry Darling (’78) echoed Pratt’s enthusiasm about the project. “As a coach at SAU for the past 35 years I am beyond excited and feel very blessed that we will be getting this state-of-the-art tennis complex. Not only is the court surface of the highest quality, but the locker rooms will provide much-needed space for our men’s and women’s teams.”
The project is slated for completion in August, which will allow the Cougars to compete on the new and improved courts during the fall season in 2016.