Roddick Foundation withdraws tennis aid

By Lew K. Cohn and Nathan Hendrix
The Highlander

After eight years and investing more than $153,300 in improvements, the Roddick Youth Tennis Foundation has informed the City of Granite Shoals it will no longer move forward with its mission to build an instructional and regional tennis tournament facility on municipal land next to city hall.

At Tuesday's regular Granite Shoals City Council meeting, City Manager Jeff Looney read a letter from RYTF co-chairman Blanche Roddick, which stated, “The Roddick Youth Tennis Foundation can no longer support the City of Granite Shoals tennis courts. Please accept our apologies. Thank you.”

The foundation, which was begun by the family of tennis star Andy Roddick, leased 5.52 acres from the city in 2011 to construct a world-class tennis center that would be built in phases. As part of the lease, the courts and other facilities would remain available to the general public for use free of charge, said Municipal Judge Frank Reilly, who was involved in negotiations between the foundation and city.

Reilly also had been mayor in 2008 when the city purchased the full 131.6 acre tract, which includes the land leased by the foundation as well as the building now housing Granite Shoals City Hall, for a cost of $3.175 million because the city lacked “any significant recreational facilities” beyond 17 pocket parks.

We didn't really have any great recreation facilities in the city,” Reilly said. “We didn't have a place where you can put in a full regulation ball field of any kind.”

For the first phase, the Roddick Youth Tennis Foundation built two-covered Quick Start courts for players ages 10 and under at a cost of $45,000 through foundation funds and donations at no expense to the city of Granite Shoals. . . .

Find the rest of this story in the Friday, July 12 issue of The Highlander, the newspaper of record for the Highland Lakes. To offer a news tip or comment, email lew@highlandernews.com. To subscribe, call 830-693-4367.

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