CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Collins Park in Conway is a part of major discussion between city leaders and community members.
During the 2019 budget retreat, council members discussed investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in the park after those in the tennis community asked for something to be done after many courts were lost during Hurricane Florence.
“It’s been tough because there’s a lot of people that come in and ask to play tennis but we only have three courts to deal with and we had seven back at river front,” Natalie Wall, a tennis coach in Conway, said.
Riverfront Tennis Center was flooded during Hurricane Florence and continues to remain closed six months later.
“Because of that, the contamination down there on the courts, as well as the fact that the building itself got a foot to two of water in it, made all of that area unusable,” Director of Conway Parks and Recreation Addison Jarrell said.
The nearly 100 people who are a part of the Conway tennis community are now asking the city to make arrangements for more courts to be opened, sooner than later.
At the 2019 Conway budget retreat, it was one of the items discussed on the agenda and council members decided they wanted to invest $400,000 into Collins Park to add two new courts and a tennis building.
“It’s a great park already and is in a great location right there in the middle of town and is a park that gets a lot of use but we want to see that usage grow,” Jarrell said.
But with losing seven courts at Riverfront Tennis Center, Wall said she thinks that more than two courts needs to be added within the city.
“I mean we are used to having an additional seven courts so I think more courts need to be added," Wall said. "An ideal amount of courts would be enough for kids and adults but anymore amount of courts is better than what we have.”
The proposal for Collins Park has to go through two readings and a public hearing before the changes can move forward, but Jarrell is already looking ahead at what the additions to the park could hold.
“Hopefully we are able to bring additional court space and then be able to host the high school, private and group tennis lessons, and then have it open to the public like it is right now where anyone can come up and go play tennis,” Jarrell said.
Many in the Conway tennis community said that they will be proposing an idea to the city council on Monday of what they would like to see done and how it can happen.
WMBF News will be at the Conway Council meeting Monday and will bring you that new information.