The Board of Regents (BOR) of the University System of Georgia (USG) voted on Wednesday, Nov. 10 to decide the future of the Bill Moore Tennis Center. The BOR approved three items.
The approved items addressed the demolition of the current Bill Moore Tennis Center, the construction of a new tennis complex and the naming of the new complex. The tennis center is located on Fowler Street across from Alexander Memorial Coliseum.
The BOR approved an item entitled, “Demolition of Bill Moore Tennis Center, Georgia Institute of Technology,” which calls for the BOR to declare that the Bill Moore Tennis Center can no longer meet the needs of Tech’s growing tennis programs.
Built in 1988, the Bill Moore Tennis Center houses three indoor courts and 12 outdoor courts. The building was renovated in 2000 as part of Tech’s Olympic Facility Campaign, but Tech has been lobbying for a more significant expansion.
“In order to effectively run an indoor tennis tournament, of which we have many, you need to have six indoor courts. That’s the standard,” said Dan Radakovich, Athletic Director. “When you have other teams come in or you’re trying to run a tournament, it just elongates the time in which that event can occur. We would also like to have more from a practice standpoint for our teams.”
In order to meet NCAA standards for Division I competition, a tennis facility must have six indoor competition courts, among other things. The Bill Moore Tennis Center does not currently meet that requirement. Radakovich says the approved expansion is vital to the success of Tech’s tennis teams.
The second approved item, Project No. BR-30-1105, calls for a significant restructuring of the existing building to meet the NCAA standards and to screen traffic noise from Tenth Street for both indoor and outdoor play. Some concerns have been raised about possible traffic problems that could arise from construction at this location. As there will also be significant construction across Fowler Street while the Alexander Memorial Coliseum is being converted to Hank McCamish Pavilion.
According to Radakovich, this will not be a problem.
“It has been established that most of the construction will be confined on the Coliseum side, utilizing that parking lot area as the lay down area. At no point in time do we anticipate the street being closed. We’ve gone through discussions with campus about both of the building projects, but it was never to a point where we thought there would be significant closures of any of those roads,” Radakovich said.
The estimated construction cost for this project is $10 million according to the content of the approved item. The bill also asks for the BOR to authorize a total project budget of $11.8 million to be funded by the Athletic Association.
“We are still a little ways away from finalizing what the Tennis Center will look like, if it’s in budget…all of the things that go along with planning the facility,” Radakovich said. “We had a donor step forward to help fund the project, and that’s really why we’re at the point where we are right now.”
The BOR also approved an item to rename the Bill Moore Tennis Center the Ken Byers Tennis Complex. The new indoor tennis pavilion located within the complex will be named the Bill Moore Indoor Tennis Center.
The Bill Moore Tennis Center is one of the only varsity venues that students have access to. It is not yet known whether the general student populace will have access to the new tennis facility.
“We’re not sure yet [if the courts will be open to general student use]. That is something we have to work through with the CRC,” Radakovich said. “There is a high likelihood that things wouldn’t change, but we have a long time to go before we get to that point. Hopefully at some point in time, the campus would be able to create some opportunities for students with tennis courts in other locations outside of our varsity tennis area.”
A specific timetable has not yet been established for the construction and completion of the project.