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Edmond council buys 23 acres for proposed tennis complex

Photo via Thinkstock.com
Photo via Thinkstock.com

EDMOND — City council members have agreed to purchase 23 acres on the northeast corner of Kelly Avenue and 15th Street for $2.5 million in hopes of building a joint tennis center development with Edmond Public Schools.

Talks are underway for a partnership between the schools and the city to construct a $14 million tennis complex with up to 10 indoor and as many as 24 outdoor courts.

Officials have not signed an agreement for the partnership at this time, said Assistant City Manager Steve Commons.

If the proposed partnership falls through, Commons said the 23 acres will be used as park land.

School Superintendent Brett Towne said the 2015 bond election included $6 million for a tennis facility for North and Memorial high schools, and school officials anticipate adding $1 million in the 2017 school bond election for tennis facilities for Santa Fe High School.

Funding sources

Council members approved taking money for the land from three funds:

•$1 million from interest on the hospital trust fund, money the city received for the sale of the city hospital.

•$750,000 from the 2000 sales tax money approved for capital improvements.

•$750,000 from money for capital improvements left over from the public safety center project.

Voters on Oct. 11, 2011, approved a half-cent sales tax to pay for the $37 million public safety center.

Any leftover money was designated to be spent on capital improvements. The public safety center fund now has $1.8 million remaining.

The half-cent public safety center tax ends in April. Voters on April 5 approved extending the half-cent tax for 10 years for capital improvements. That tax starts in April 2017.

On the list

A citizen task force recommended a tennis complex on its list of capital improvements that the city should fund with the extended half-cent sales tax. This is the first project from the recommendations to move forward.

The proposed city and school tennis complex would be developed and operated similar to the competition pool at the Mitch Park YMCA, Commons said.

The city and the school would split the cost of the tennis complex, $7 million each. All three schools and the public would have access to the center, which could have a central clubhouse with locker rooms, a pro shop and food services.

The cost of the land will come out of the city's portion of the cost, Commons said.

Christina Hoehn, chief operations officer for the school district, said the design process could take up to nine months and the entire project could last two years.

A 10-member team — five from the city and five from the school district — has been created to consider the project.

Diana Baldwin

Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote the original stories about the... Read more ›

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