Tennis Club inaugurates renovated courtsPOSTED: 08/26/11 12:31 PM
Renewed attempt to obtain property in long lease
GREAT BAY – The St. Maarten Tennis Club opens its renovated tennis courts this afternoon with a festive meeting. The courts have been completely resurfaced and everything has been repainted. The tennis club financed the renovation from its own resources.
The tennis club considers itself the largest club for youth tennis and possible the largest youth club on the island period.
While the tennis club is happy with its renovated accommodation next to the Raoul Illidge Sports Complex in Cay Hill, the story does have some history.
In December 2008 the club asked the island government to give it the tennis courts in, long lease. This way, the club reasoned, it would become possible to renovate the tennis courts in a legitimate way. The club also presented plans for the construction of two additional courts and a multifunctional field. Getting the property in long lease would also enable the club to get external financing for these projects.
But according to the tennis club, the government did not react to the request. There was a meeting with Commissioner Theo Heyliger, but somehow, Commissioner Buncamper-Molanus’ ambition plans to renovate the complete sports complex for $17 million got in the way. That plan was however never executed.
On August 11, the tennis club approached Minister Heyliger again with the request to have another look at the 2008-proposals.
In an email attorney Roeland Zwanikken asks the minister “whether the present climate is right to revive the petition (to obtain the tennis courts in long lease) and to get it processed.”
“In 2008 and 2009 it turned out that it was politically difficult to have the plans carried out,” the attorney wrote, adding for good measure, “I am sure you remember the reasons at that time.”
Zwanikken points out that the tennis club has in the meantime renovated the tennis courts at its own expense, and that it has repaired the fence around the complex. “If you are around I would advise and suggest that you take a look. As you know the St. Maarten Tennis Club is also the biggest youth sports club.”
The inauguration of the renovated tennis courts takes place this afternoon from five to seven o’clock.