MILTON, Ga. — Much-needed repairs for the city’s tennis center at the former Milton Country Club property were completed last week with the resurfacing of the four asphalt courts.
The city contracted Signature Tennis Courts, Inc., for the resurfacing with a price tag just under $20,000, and the city will receive outside help to cut its cost. Milton received a $7,000 grant from the U.S. Tennis Association and may be in line to receive another $2,800 from the Southeastern office of the organization.
Parks and Recreation Director Jim Cregge said the city expects to receive word on the additional grant in the coming weeks.
Cregge said the city had no records to determine when the last time the courts were resurfaced, but they were in poor condition with more than 500 feet of cracks.
With the resurfacing, the look and playability of the courts are vastly improved. Crews cleaned the court surface, placed several layers of mesh tape over cracks to reseal the asphalt, applied a new surface coat and repainted the lines.
Perhaps no one is more excited about the resurfacing that Terre O’Brien, who leads the tennis program at the park under the banner of the Milton Tennis Center. O’Brien has been an instructor at the site for 24 years and has a dedicated following among the local tennis community.
“We have had some matches already, and the players have just loved it,” O’Brien said. “It’s actually easier on the knees too because it has a little cushion to it.”
The courts have far improved playability. O’Brien said some cracks were up to a half-inch wide.
“If you hit one of those cracks before, the ball can go anywhere,” he said. “Now it’s pure when it bounces.”
That will be a plus for the nearly 200 players who play and train at the courts. The Milton Tennis Center has the most amount of Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association teams in the state for a 4-court facility.
The tennis program’s future was in limbo when the city purchased the Milton Country Club property last January, but it has thrived since the decision was made to continue the program under the city’s banner.
“It’s pretty cool they supported the popularity of tennis in Milton and in the state in general,” O’Brien said. “At first, the residents were begging the city to keep the program going, but now that we don’t have the [parks agreement] with Alpharetta, Milton needs it.”
Those needs have been growing recently, and O’Brien has faced the logistical challenge of having hundreds of players on just four courts. But relief could be coming down the road.
Milton recently adopted a master plan for the site which will serve as a roadmap for potential future improvements to the active and passive portions of the park. Under the plan, the city will construct two additional tennis courts.
“I could definitely have more teams, and we could probably have tournaments with six courts and expand lessons,” O’Brien said.
Recently, O’Brien held a beginners tennis class for kids, and 50 kids participated.
“Cramming them on four courts, you have a lot of kids waiting their turn,” he said. “[Adding two courts] would totally change their experience, and it could really help the community to have more availability for lessons and teams.”
The master plan calls for other potential additions to the active portion of the park, including a volleyball court and the Children’s Charities all-inclusive playground. The clubhouse will also be renovated. The first stage of the renovation will create a men’s and women’s locker room, a dining area and multi-purpose spaces.
The tennis court resurfacing project was the second improvement to the active portion of the park since the city purchased the site last year through its Greenspace Bond. Milton also resurfaced the two pools at the site.