Approve the Reconstruction of 18 hard courts at the Roger Scott Tennis Center of Pensacola

Approve the Reconstruction of 18 hard courts at the Roger Scott Tennis Center of Pensacola

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Mildred Arroyo Figueroa started this petition to MANAGE PARKS AND RECREATION MANAGER OF PENSACOLA, FL.

We, the undersigned tennis players, members of Roger Scott Tennis Center, and/or residents of Pensacola, call upon the City of Pensacola, the Mayor of Pensacola, the Department of Parks and Recreation, and the City Council to immediately approve a plan, allocate sufficient funds, and commence immediate reconstruction of the 18 hard courts located at Roger Scott Tennis Center for the reasons stated below:

The Department of Parks and Recreation of Pensacola boasts the fact that Roger Scott Tennis Center is Northwest Florida's largest and oldest tennis facility, offering 18 hard and 10 clay lighted courts. Of the 10 clay courts, 2 have been out of commission for over 9 months, having suffered severe damage during the last storm. They are scheduled to be reconstructed soon. In the past (2012), this recreational facility was named “National Municipal Facility of the Year” by Tennis Industry magazine. There is no doubt that Roger Scott Tennis Center offers a vital recreational service to the thousands of Greater Pensacola Area tennis players of all ages, 5 years old to over 80 years, and backgrounds. It is a place where players can not only practice the sport they love, but also socialize and experience a deep sense of community.

Roger Scott Tennis Center annually generates a six-figure income for the City of Pensacola. The center's administrators and members help raise over $130,000* annually for local charities. During 2019, the total number of persons who played on the courts was 71,503. This figure includes those who took individual or group lessons; attended special events, such as Special Olympics, Tournaments, Exhibitions, Mixers; 6 high school teams (3 Girls and 3 Boys) play their scheduled matches there; 23 Greater Pensacola Ladies Tennis League teams play out of this facility; and the Under The Hill League, ages 50 and over play there.* (*All of the above-mentioned numbers apply to 2019; 2020 numbers were adversely affected by the COVID Pandemic).

According to the tennis industry, a properly maintained court has an average lifespan of approximately 25 years, and it requires resurfacing every 4 to 8 years. The courts at Roger Scott Tennis Center were built over 30 years ago and, throughout these three decades, they have received minimal structural maintenance and/or resurfacing. They have never received mid-level repairs, let alone court reconstruction. Given their age and high-volume use, the hard courts are all in need of full reconstruction, not mere resurfacing, given that they are in a state of extreme disrepair and structural deterioration. All hard courts are showing signs of severe wear, deep and unending cracks, decomposing surface layer, unevenness, settlement, and birdbaths due to sloping and drainage problems, which exposes players to the risk of bodily injury due to the aforementioned hazardous conditions. In addition, the poor court conditions interfere with the players’ full enjoyment and performance of the game as they fear slipping or tripping and falling, are bothered by erratic ball bounces hitting the many cracks, are discouraged by unsightly court conditions, and are continuously embarrassed by the playing surface complaints received from the players, as well as out-of-state guest teams, whose members are accustomed to playing on top-notch municipal/city courts for free. Members of the Roger Scott Tennis Center are charged membership fees, while non-members are charged court fees, and all rightly deserve and expect to play on safe courts.

We respectfully request that, given the courts' poor surface and hazardous conditions, this petition be granted, and all necessary and immediate measures be taken by THE CITY OF PENSACOLA, OFFICE THE MAYOR, DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND RECREATION, AND THE CITY COUNCIL in order to reconstruct the 18 hard courts located at Roger Scott Tennis Center.

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