According to sources with Denver Public Schools, the University of Denver is about to solve a campus space issue, put the men’s and women’s tennis programs on year-round footing, and work with the community in a joint venture which aligns perfectly to Chancellor Chopp’s strategic vision – joining the University and the Denver community closer together in perfect alignment with the DU’s Strategic Impact 2025 plan.
The Denver Post published an article a year ago about a joint venture between Denver Public Schools, the University of Denver, and the nonprofit Denver Tennis Park for building an indoor tennis facility next to All City Stadium at Denver South High School.
According to DPS sources, it now appears that this innovative proposal is on the verge of becoming a reality.
While the University of Denver has a facility for outdoor tennis at the Stapleton Tennis Center, the team had no on-campus facility to play indoors during Colorado’s variable weather. With sub-par facilities and no realistic on-campus solution – men’s and women’s programs were at a competitive disadvantage both nationally and even within the Summit League.
Now, the sky is the limit for DU tennis teams – both of whom went to the NCAA Tournament this year. The men finished 18-8 while the women finished an incredible 21-3.
South High School has outdoor tennis courts but faces the same limitations as a number of other Denver High Schools seeking indoor facilities. They also have available property on the southwest corner of their campus for development. Add to all this, South High School is a diverse school with 28.4% white, 33.9% latino, 12.4% Asian, and 1.2% Native American students. The school is representative of Denver’s current and future demographics – and DU is seeking access and visibility outside the confines of DU’s campus. This created the perfect opportunity for a community partnership.
The tennis complex will have seven indoor and eight outdoor tennis courts at the southwest corner of the stadium near I 25 and Franklin Street.
The new tennis complex will be used year-round for training, high school tournaments and as the home courts for the University of Denver. Denver Public Schools has 18 high school tennis teams with more than 600 students who could benefit from the site. The facility could also be open to the public at select times. The six tennis courts currently at South High would remain.
Denver Tennis Park will manage the operations while the total project cost is estimated to be $11.3 million. The original concept received Denver Board of Education approval, University of Denver approval, and finally completed fundraising to cover the project financing.
The architecture firm Barker Rinker Seacat completed preliminary designs and final site plans will be released once the project is formally announced. Expect an official public announcement soon.
This is a great move engineered by the DU administration, the athletics department, and the community to create a win-win situation for all.