Groundbreaking Ceremony at Camden Classically Carolina Tennis Complex
Camden Mayor Alfred Mae Drakeford was joined today by members of City Council and staff for the ground breaking ceremony at the City’s new and much anticipated $3 million Camden Classically Carolina Tennis Complex. The 12-acre site is located in the southwest quadrant of Camden’s Downtown District on York Street, in the block between Campbell and Gordon Streets.
Designed by the award-winning landscape, architecture and land planning firm Kenneth B. Simmons Associates (KBSA) of Columbia, the new, state of the art complex will feature 16 tennis courts, two of which will be stadium courts. The stadium courts will have canopied bleachers for spectator seating. The complex will also include 14 pickleball courts, converted from four of the existing tennis court on the site. All courts will be asphalt surface and all will have lighting.
Said Camden Mayor Alfred Mae Drakeford: “It is a very exciting day today, to stand alongside my fellow members of City Council, Staff, and others to mark the start of construction on the Camden Classically Carolina Tennis Complex. This tennis complex will bring new life to this area of Camden, serving as an anchor in our Downtown District while providing renovated recreational space for our residents.
“So many folks are already behind this tennis initiative, and we will be creating more opportunities for local residents and businesses to support the tennis complex vision through sponsorships and memorials.”
Said Camden City Manager Mel Pearson: “We took into consideration certain amenities that would set this tennis complex apart from others around the state to make it more attractive to regional tournaments and the public in general. Unlike most facilities of this size, we are located right downtown, within easy walking distance to shops and restaurants. In this respect, Camden’s tennis complex is unique. As players and their family, friends and spectators can easily access shopping, dining and sightseeing at such convenience, we expect to see an economic boost, as other communities have when similar venues have been added to the community.”
Other features of the complex will be a club house, with pro shop, office, and public restrooms, as well as a 1,150 square foot front porch for shade. The complex will also boast over 150 parking spaces, meant to accommodate travelers for tournament play, and more than 3,500 feet of sidewalk and walking trails around the perimeter and through the complex. The walking trails will have lighting also.
Said Suzi Sale, City Tourism/Economic Development Director: “We expect the tennis complex will attract visitors from all over South Carolina, for both recreational play and tournaments, bringing dollars into our community. With a state of the art facility, featuring both tennis and pickleball, walking trails and lighting throughout, we look forward to the tennis complex being utilized by many different people in our community, for a variety of reasons.”
Design and construction of the tennis complex is being supervised by city staffers Tom Couch, Public Works Director, and John Burns, Building Director. Earlier this month, Loveless Contracting was awarded the bid for site work and construction of the complex, with completion expected in October. Hours of operation and programming at the complex are still under discussion.
The Camden City Council approved the project in September 2016 with a resolution to utilize Hospitality Tax Fund bonds and additional City funding for capital and paving improvement.