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County to add 4 courts at tennis center

CONYERS - Rockdale County will add four more courts to the new tennis center based on the fundraising efforts of local tennis enthusiasts.

The change orders to construction will bring the total to 12 courts at the new tennis complex being built on part of the old Maxell Corp. property on Parker Road.

Total cost for the additions is $174,898. The cost of one set of courts is $7,000 higher due to rock allowance.

As a cost-saving measure, the four additional courts will not be lighted. Conduit will be run to the courts for future installation, according to Michael Smith, manager of the county's Capital and Community Improvement Office.

The county was spurred to include the additional courts in construction by local tennis players who said 12 courts at the site would help them attract regional tournaments to Conyers.

Conyers dentist Dr. Mark Shurett spearheaded the fundraising by writing a check for $50,000 for two courts and promised to raise an another $50,000 from others.

The county for its part agreed to match Shurett's money and what is raised to go toward construction of the new courts.

Shurett said Friday that raising money was going slowly, but he attributed it to the holidays.

He was confident, however, that people will come through with the donations.

"I have a few people who said they need to wait until after the first of the year to see how much they can give, but I think we will make it," he said.

Design plans for the complex were originally for 16 courts total, however, the county had to cut back those plans to 10 courts to stay within budget.

The project also includes construction of a building that will serve as offices and retail space. Total cost for the tennis center is $1.21 million.

The Board of Commissioners committed $1 million from the current special purpose local option sales tax to the project. Additional money from the county's impact fees for parks were included to supplement the project.

Jay Jones can be reached at jay.jones@rockdalecitizen.com