County Commissioner Fred Perry has announced a donation, in the form of a challenge grant of $1 million by Tulsa businessman and philanthropist Mike Case to complete renovations to the Tulsa County LaFortune Park Tennis Center. This donation will help complete Phase III of the LaFortune Park Tennis Center Master plan. Phase III is a $2 million facility including three indoor courts and a clubhouse.
The indoor facility with three courts will increase the total number of courts at the LaFortune Park Tennis Center to 24. The attached 3,600 square foot clubhouse will feature a reception desk, administrative offices, locker rooms, a retail sales area, lounge, and an observation area looking onto the indoor courts.
"What Tulsa County and the volunteers have done to improve the tennis facilities at LaFortune Park is admirable and it certainly has positively impacted the Tulsa tennis community and the metro area as a whole,” said Mike Case. “I want to help Tulsa County complete the final phase with this challenge gift. Tennis has been a passion of mine and the new club house will greatly improve the enjoyment for many tennis players in the Tulsa metro area. I also like the fact that the indoor courts will be used to provide lessons year around including those involving underserved kids. I am pleased that the structure will have the same quality architectural elements as the LaFortune Community Center nearby."
Commissioner Fred Perry has been working on the development of the Tennis Center since taking office.
"Tulsa County greatly appreciates this gift and the generosity of Mike Case. Now it is up to the tennis community in the Tulsa County area to raise the additional $1 million so that the construction of the new club house/indoor courts complex can begin. The Tulsa area will then have one of the best public facilities in the nation with many benefits in terms of economic development, quality of life, exercise and expanding the this great sport to more people, including some underserved kids."
“This Challenge Gift provides one half of the remaining funds needed to complete Phase III. It will really give us a great facility and will hopefully lead to Tulsa hosting some major amateur and school-based tournaments,” said Richard Bales, Tulsa County Parks director.
"I am so excited that we will be able to continue our tennis programs the entire year, and both juniors and adults will now be able to enjoy three new indoor courts and a clubhouse,” said Melissa McCorkle, LaFortune Park director of operations. “This also allows us to continue to stimulate our local economy in two ways – by offering better and bigger tournaments which attract players and families from all over the Missouri Valley, and by better job opportunity for both our office staff and teaching professionals."
Previous improvements to the LaFortune Tennis Center have been made possible by 4-to-Fix-the-County, Vision 2025 and private donations.
Phase I of the improvements to the Tennis Center was completed in November 2008 and included nine new lighted courts, retaining walls and ADA accessible sidewalks.
Phase II of the improvements was completed in May 2010 and included the replacement of nine existing courts as well as landscaping improvements and a shaded area of bleachers and benches for spectators.
Donations to the Phase III completion can be made to Park Friends on behalf of Tulsa County Parks, or by contacting Frances Dodson, resource development manager for Tulsa County Parks at (918) 596-5981. More information is available http://www.lafortunetennis.com/.