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Seeking Site for Covered Tennis

RA’s tennis advisory committee looks for answers to the covered tennis riddle.

Faced with lingering neighborhood opposition to a covered tennis facility near Lake Newport and a higher than projected cost, the group charged with delivering year-round tennis to Reston is regrouping. In light of last year’s surprisingly expensive figures for a covered tennis pavilion at the Lake Newport tennis complex, the Reston Association (RA) tennis advisory committee (TAC) has outlined its next steps to the RA board. In a Jan. 9 memorandum to the board, the committee proposed several options for the board to consider. According to the memo, a metal enclosure, favored by TAC, staff and the Design Review Board (DRB), not to mention many Lake Newport neighbors, has been deemed too expensive without a private fundraising drive. The other two alternatives are a permanent fabric enclosure and an air structure, or bubble, the memo said. The TAC asked the board to let the committee know if it would support an independent fundraising effort. The memo also listed alternative RA sites for the proposed facility. The committee found that the tennis courts at Newbridge, Hook Road, Glade, Shadowood, Uplands and North Hills would be acceptable.

The tennis committee also highlighted two non-tennis RA recreation sites that could potentially support a year-round tennis structure, but added that the capital cost would be increased in order to construct, light and fence four new tennis courts in an area where none existed previously. TAC said that a soccer field at the Bordeaux Recreation Area could be an alternative with added parking and bringing utilities on site. The other option, cited in the memo, was to convert one of the Little League fields at Brown’s Chapel — the field closest to the chapel — into a covered tennis facility. The Brown’s Chapel location would not require additional parking, utilities or buffering, the memo noted.

RA staff is also exploring a possible partnership with Hidden Creek Country Club, according to the Jan. 9 memo. Preliminary meetings have taken place to discuss the feasibility of such a partnership which would likely result in the bubbling over of two additional tennis courts. The club already has two courts with a permanent all-weather structure, but it has four uncovered courts.

The fifth option that TAC is looking into is the possibility leasing or purchasing commercial space in or around the Reston area. While the final option, as noted in the memo, would be a partnership with the Fairfax County Park Authority. No meetings between RA staff and park authority personnel have taken place about the availability of local sites like Baron Cameron Park.

In its letter to the board, tennis officials asked the board for guidance about what their next steps should be, adding that they understood that “any further consideration of RA tennis court sites or non-RA sites will require notifying the local community, working with a designer on concept plans, eventual presentation to the DRB and securing estimates for construction to use in the financial pro forma.”