Construction to begin on Empie Park's new tennis center

Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Groundbreaking for a new tennis center at Wilmington's Empie Park took place Wednesday morning.

The center will be named after Althea Gibson, who lived in Wilmington and became the first African American to win Wimbledon and other major tennis events.

Ten tennis courts, a clubhouse, and two basketball courts will be built at the park.  The city and county are teaming up for the project that will cost $1.5 million.

"This will bring opportunities, not only for players we have currently, but also bring in tournaments from outside," said Bo Dean, who is on the Parks and Rec. Advisory Board. "This is a revenue producer and this is an opportunity to create opportunities for the city and county."

Other components of the project include:

  • 10 asphalt tennis courts with lights
  • A 1500 square foot clubhouse
  • Stormwater improvements
  • A walking trail (part of Cross City Trail)

According to Dean, construction will take one year to complete.

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