The approved renderings for the exterior design of the Sarah Vande Berg Tennis Center include brick elements and flat awnings that blend the features of some of the City of Zephyrhills’ newer buildings, such as the library and City Hall, and the city’s older downtown historic buildings.
The Zephyrhills City Council came to a consensus on the design for the much-awaited facility during the council’s Nov. 26 meeting.
The exterior also is accented with signage, a large-picture window and glass fixtures, based on the rendering.
The rear view includes a memorial statue of Sarah Vande Berg — named after the former Zephyrhills High School district champion who died in an automobile accident at the age of 21 in October 2015.
Before being presented to the City Council, multiple tennis center designs were reviewed by the Zephyrhills Parks and Recreation Board, and a committee made up of City Manager Steve Spina, Planning Director Todd Vande Berg, Public Works director Shane LeBlanc, Councilwoman Jodi Wilkeson and professional tennis instructor Pascal Collard, who will manage the tennis center.
The council has gone back and forth since September on various renderings to best match the municipal architecture of the city.
A final design and floor plan now will be completed by the project’s architectural firm, Fleishman-Garcia Architects.
The process of selecting a design wasn’t easy, Wilkeson said, but she believes the city now has “a very clear direction for the architect.”
The tennis center project, expected to cost about $3.5 million, will be located on about 5 acres of donated land at The District at Abbott’s Square, a new real estate development situated north of Dean Dairy Road and west of Simons Road.
The tennis center will be 7,000 square feet to 8,000 square feet. Plans call for it to include a fitness/wellness center and cryotherapy room, a pro shop, a restaurant, conference and multipurpose rooms, a kid’s club and playground, a common area, office spaces and other features.
Next to the indoor center, there will be 11 full-size outdoor courts — a mix of clay and hard surfaces — built to U.S Tennis Association (USTA) professional standards.
At some point, there’s also a possibility of phasing in a covered/indoor tennis court building that would have four full-size courts.
Discussions about the entire project began in 2016.
Planning Director Todd Vande Berg said there’s not yet a set date for breaking ground, but noted the city ideally would like to begin construction sometime in the first quarter of 2019.
He explained the tennis facility could be finished by late 2019 or early 2020 “if we get started when we think.”
In other action:
- The City Council unanimously approved a contract for incoming assistant city manager Billy Poe. Per its terms, Poe, 42, will earn a $105,000 annual base salary and will be enrolled in the city’s health insurance policy. Poe, who’s served as Dade City manager for the past 11 years, will begin his new role on or before Feb. 7, 2019. He is expected to replace Zephyrhills City Manager Steve Spina once he retires sometime next year. Poe was offered the assistant city manager position during a special city council meeting on Nov. 7.
- The City Council passed the city’s 2018-2018 fiscal year budget of more than $59.4 million, based on a millage rate at 6.35.
Published December 5, 2018