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SPRING ARBOR, Mich. – The Spring Arbor University community celebrated a significant milestone Thursday afternoon as SAU coaches, donors, staff and university officials gathered for the groundbreaking ceremony for the new state-of-the-art Ronald L. and Marvel C. Jones Tennis Complex.


The new facility will feature four pods of two courts for a total of eight courts constructed of post-tensioned concrete. The post-tensioned concrete courts will provide a sturdy and durable playing surface that is able to withstand abuse and is less susceptible to the climate than asphalt. Because of this, the facility can be first-class for decades to come.


“The quality of play is going to be excellent and it’s going to be excellent for a long time,” said head women’s tennis coach Bobby Pratt. “This facility is something that’s going to benefit generations of people that come through this area.”


Two of the courts will also have lights for night time use, while the four north courts will be three-feet below grade to provide a superior spectator experience.


Two brick and steel arched entry points will help define the facility, and there will be two large tensile shade structures that will provide shelter from the sun as well as architectural appeal. The facility will also feature a brand new clubhouse that will include a public restroom, drinking fountain, equipment storage, and separate men’s and women’s locker rooms.


“This is an exciting, state-of-the-art facility,” said head men’s tennis coach Terry Darling. “It’s going to be world-class.”


The Jones Tennis Complex will not be limited to the varsity teams, but rather open for students and the entire community to enjoy.


“The neat thing about tennis is that it is a life sport,” Darling added. “You’re lucky enough to play it as an athlete, but we see people out on these courts that are 80, 90 years old, so you’re not just playing until you’re 22. This isn’t just a varsity facility. It’s open to the public, it’s open to students on campus, and it’s located right in the heart of campus.”


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.


Men’s Tennis Coach Terry Darling talks about the new facility – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIVWU7hUHSE

Women’s Tennis Coach Bobby Pratt talks about the new facility – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIVWU7hUHSE

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