Shortly, the Wellington Village Council will be asked to make a decision on where to locate a new Wellington Tennis Center. This decision is necessary to move forward with plans for the new community center and its replacement, but also for the future of the highly successful tennis program in Wellington that encompasses residents from six years old to 80 years old.
I want to compliment the council and staff for offering informational meetings and workshops on this topic. In addition, I applaud the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board for also discussing the subject and listening to residents. This decision will affect many for years to come and each site has negatives and positives, several of the sites also will incur additional costs if selected.
One site, Village Walk on Lyons Road, does have a consensus; a negative one that all persons connected with the tennis program all agree. It won’t work, it is too far, traffic is too congested at peak hours due to the elementary and middle schools, and it is located in a residential neighborhood. All of the other three — the mall site, K-Park and the old Boys & Girls Club site — have positives and negatives. The mall site and the old Boys & Girls Club are very close to the current center, have adequate acreage and would allow for a larger marketing of the programs to more families. The major problem is that both sites currently house recreational facilities that service the community, and would require large sums of capital to move those fields and facilities to another location and delay the move of the tennis center.
The K-Park site has no impediments to building the center there, and actually is almost site-ready with a water source and utilities in place for construction. It also is within the distance range that current members would not be deterred, and possibly be attractive to players outside of Wellington and increase membership and revenue. The negative with this site is hypothetical: would using 13 to 15 acres for a tennis center reduce the total property for future sale to a developer or builder?
The key for all is that the council makes a decision. They have kicked the can down the road long enough. It is time to move forward and take care of business. The residents deserve action on the part of their elected officials. I applaud the council for listening and hearing the different opinions and thoughts, but it is now time to act.
Steve Haughn, Wellington