James Madison University determined that a new indoor tennis center would contribute to its vision of being an NCAA model for the student-athlete experience nationally. The new tennis center will replace an outdoor facility that is in disrepair and greatly impacted by noise from the adjacent highway.
To understand the scope of work and cost of constructing the center, Hastings+Chivetta met with coaching staff to identify program needs, which include eight courts, public restrooms, men’s and women’s changing rooms, a training suite, offices and spectator seating.
Nine possible sites were identified and thoroughly evaluated. While immediately available, the selected site requires substantial infill and retaining walls which exceed the project budget. Lower cost construction methods using an air-supported structure were investigated but eliminated due to a lack of acoustical separation from highway noise. To offer funding options, the team developed a cost-conscious phasing strategy allowing for courts to be developed in phases of four, six or eight courts. The preferred concept of eight courts in a four-by-four configuration provides better support for simultaneous men’s and women’s practice sessions, and spectator viewing during competitive play.
The new tennis center will enhance JMU’s competitive position, student-athlete and fan experience as well as provide revenue and community engagement opportunities.