Letter: Tennis Center Move A Hard Decision

The recent decision by the Wellington Village Council to move the tennis center was a very hard one, it was almost a lose-lose, but I applaud Mayor Bob Margolis and councilmen John Greene and Matt Willhite on having the courage to make this decision. Keeping the tennis center at its current location was not an option, especially if the council was going to move forward on the new community center.

All of the other sites that were considered had current recreation facilities in place, and would have required an extra six to nine months to move them and add hundreds of thousands of dollars to the cost of the project. K-Park is now in play for a major player to enhance our equestrian industry and is not in play for a tennis site. For the first time in 20 years, I have to agree with my friend George Unger — the western equestrian concept would be a huge positive for the community and economy, and needs to be explored.

Council members Howard Coates and Anne Gerwig are wrong on two counts: Leaving the center where it is currently does nothing but prolong the debate and delays Wellington moving forward on plans for a new community center and making the tennis program viable. In addition, Gerwig’s comment about the cost and so few participants is highly inaccurate. The village has spent millions on the gym building and renovations, and the current recreation program and residents in the travel basketball program feature far fewer residents than the tennis program does currently. Gerwig’s lack of knowledge about recreation may be her undoing in the upcoming elections.

Unfortunately, the Village Walk site will probably spell doom for the tennis program as many of the current members will choose not to make the additional 15 to 20 minutes of a drive, especially during school hours when the traffic is bumper-to-bumper with two schools within a mile of the proposed tennis center. I do agree with Coates and Gerwig that the cost is very high for this new center, so consider this: If the demand for the tennis center is so large, sell the property (Village Walk) to a qualified business or individual, with a contractual agreement to build a private 24-court club and clubhouse facility with their money, offer programs and leagues to the residents, in a return for a 99-year lease at a very modest sum.

We will see how quickly there is a need for tennis in Wellington, and the residents will be off the hook for the $5 million in costs.

Steve Haughn, Wellington


  1. This was stated at a council meeting.I agree 100% to make this private,as about 40% is not from Wellington and this is not for our kids.Build it at Binks golf course as a private club and open it to he public.

  2. In regard to the mentioned/proposed KPark/Horse Park site:

    If the sale goes through to whomever is behind the proposed horse park; what is to prevent them from putting up a gas station (RaceTrak has been itching to put up a gas station), another strip mall or more fast food restaurants along SR7? Those type of businesses all ‘serve’ horse people.

    The council has no ability to stop whatever goes on the SR7 frontage once the KPark property has been sold.

    As proof of that, just look at the fast food strip south of Whole Foods along SR7 and Stribling.

    That fast food haven is certainly not in keeping with the image Wellington wants to project along SR7. That development was a big mistake and the Village had no way of stopping the Fast Food unsightliness. We all can see the architectural, landscaping differences between the Mall sites and that strip of fast food buildings: the sparse landscaping, the parking lot after parking lot along SR7. It was haphazard development with Wellington attempting, but unfortunately failing, to retain ‘the look’ along SR7.

    It would seem better for Wellington to keep the KPark land along SR7 and keep control of what is built along the roadway. Don’t lose anymore control of the SR7 corridor to any more developers. No ‘promises’ from developers. They can’t be trusted.

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