Letter to County Commissioners

Post Office Box 102, Barstow, Maryland 20610
March 17, 2019
Honorable Calvert County Commissioners,
I write to you on behalf of the thousands of active tennis enthusiast and weekend warriors in the Southern Maryland Region. Over twenty years ago a small group of people who loved the game of tennis got together in our County and began this organization that I proudly serve. Their vision was to help others learn, grow and enjoy the game of tennis.
The Calvert County Office of Parks & Recreation has been a vital partner in our effort to grow the game of tennis in our community for over twenty years. Through our partnership and our combined partnership with the United States Tennis Association we have been able to provide yearly tournaments, instruction for all ages and abilities and league play. We are especially proud of our “Adaptive Tennis Program” that provides instruction quarterly to those with special needs and or disabilities.
Currently Parks & Recreation maintains 12 tennis courts in Calvert County. With a growing population of over 90,000 residents the demand for these courts is higher than ever. The four high schools and Beach Elementary in the county provide about 22 additional courts for use during non-school hours but sometimes access to these courts is limited.
The generous donation of 100 acres in Lusby by Dominion Energy for a new park including funding to start the master plan last year certainly raised our organizations hopes that tennis could be included in that plan. The most recent gift of 3 million dollars from Dominion Energy for development has turned this into an opportunity for a state of the art recreation area found nowhere in Southern Maryland.
The Calvert County Tennis Association is advocating for an indoor tennis facility to be built at the new Lusby Park. The facility in our opinion should be an inflatable air dome capable of housing a minimum of 4 hardcourt tennis courts in a climate controlled environment allowing for year round play. Currently there is no indoor tennis facility in Calvert, Charles or St. Mary’s County. During the late fall through Winter season tennis players either put their gear in a closet and wait for Spring or travel to Prince George’s County and beyond to pay out of County rates to play tennis. Southern Marylanders will travel to Lusby and fill these courts.
We understand the initial cost of the facility would be significant. Air Dome structures are by comparison one third of the cost of a brick & mortar building. Also, with the advancement in “Green Technologies” such as LED lighting, solar power and high efficiency HVAC systems operating costs would remain low.
We would invite to the Commissioner’s to view the Tennis Bubble at Louise Cosca Regional Park in Clinton, Maryland. This facility was recently remodeled by the Maryland National Capitol Park & Planning Commission and is a wonderful example of a cost effective indoor facility. Through court fees, tournaments, instructor’s fees and other events the facility would pay for itself over a period of time. Staffing and maintenance after construction would be minimal. Our organization would certainly like to offer any assistance we could provide relating to the tennis aspect of the facility.
The Calvert County Tennis Association will be contacting our State Senators and Delegates in an effort to find additional grant funding and support for this facility to be built. The United States Tennis Association also offers grant funding for facilities that we would apply for to offset costs. This new Park may be the only opportunity that tennis in Southern Maryland has for indoor, year round play. As I travel around the Mid Atlantic area to play tennis or watch my children play soccer I’m amazed by some of the public recreation facilities we visit. Us parents from Calvert County always ask each other “Why don’t we have a place like this”? While I’m sure those involved in the design and construction of this new Park will do a great job with the resources they have to work with we hope a tennis facility will be considered and I look forward to hearing from you or your staff with any questions.
Chris MacWilliams Sr
Calvert County Tennis Association

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