Officials expect tennis complex to draw out-of-town guests

Published 8:00 pm Friday, March 22, 2019

Vicksburg’s renovated and redeveloped tennis complex should put the city in the position to better compete with other Mississippi communities for tournaments that will bring visitors to the city, South Ward Alderman Alex Monsour said.

“We took a large step and invested close to $800,000 in this facility,” Monsour told people gathered Friday for the reopening of the remodeled tennis complex. “This turned out to be one heck of a facility.

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“What we have now is something to compete with everybody in the state of Mississippi for the tournaments now,” he said.

“So when you look back at what the Board of Mayor and Aldermen are doing in the city of Vicksburg by building up everything that we do all around us … it gives people when they come here multiple things to do. This facility has state of the art showers, bathrooms, lounge; it’s a facility that’s going to compete with everyone in the state.”

Impressive facility

Warren County Board of Supervisors president Richard George called the complex “very impressive.

“Congratulations, and I want to commend Alderman Monsour and the city of Vicksburg for preparing for the future and constantly upgrading facilities to make Vicksburg a more pleasant place to enjoy life for our citizens and our tourists. It’s well done, well laid out.”

Monsour said additional tennis courts will be added in the future to make the city even more competitive, and permanent pickleball courts will also be added. Presently, pickleball courts are marked off on the tennis courts. Monsour said the boundaries are removed for tennis tournaments.

“We are now a certified pickleball association,” he said.

Years in the making

Park tennis pro Rick Shields, said the development of the Halls Ferry Park tennis complex “took 12 years; it didn’t happen overnight. Twelve years, three administrations, but all three administrations have been very, very helpful in what you see here. There were a lot of people behind me who got things done.

“We have here something we can be proud of.”

After the ceremony, Shields said the improved complex means the city will qualify for a more tennis events.

“Our kids will get a chance to play with kids from other areas,” he said. He said the facility will attract more people for lessons, adding, “When people see our facilities, more will come here.”

Work on the expansion of the Halls Ferry Park tennis complex began in 2015, when the board approved the addition of four tennis courts. The new pro shop area was designed by architect Paul Ingram and built by Commercial Construction and Maintenance Inc. of Jackson.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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