Augustana College and the City of Rock Island broke ground Wednesday, May 24, on a joint $1.5 million project that will create a tennis complex at the city’s Lincoln Park.
In addition to wielding ceremonial shovels, college and city officials also unveiled an artist’s rendering by project designer Shive-Hattery Inc. of the half dozen National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) regulation tennis courts that will be built adjacent to Augustana’s campus at 38th Street and 11th Avenue.
The project, which includes a 10-year lease to the college for that section of the park, will relocate Augustana’s tennis teams from their current facilities near the Roy J. Carver Physical Education Center, the college said in a news release.
Augustana announced the project and its construction manager Estes Construction in February.
In addition to lighted courts, the complex designed by Bettendorf-based Shive-Hattery also will include bleachers, restrooms and 17 parking stalls.
Augustana College President Andrea Talentino said she was pleased to see the project take shape and eager to welcome both Augustana athletes and community residents to enjoy tennis and pickleball at the courts.
“This partnership with Rock Island is a hallmark of the positive relationship the college has built with the city over decades,” Ms. Talentino said. “It’s also symbolic of the college’s longstanding commitment to student-athletes.”
Rock Island Mayor Mike Thoms added, “Augustana has been a wonderful partner for many years. Once again, it’s great to see a project like these new tennis courts come together for the betterment of the community and the college.”
Augustana’s rosters include about 30 students, and players who come from five states and six countries. Combined, the teams have claimed four Collegiate Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin championships in the past five years. In the 2021-22 school year, seven women and seven men were named Intercollegiate Tennis Association Scholar-Athletes.
Head coach David DeSimone said his student-athletes are excited to have top-notch facilities adjacent to campus.
“Our men’s and women’s tennis teams are comprised of excellent student-athletes from across the country and the world,” he said. “The opportunity to play on these new courts will surely add to the success of these students.”
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