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facility funding rough draft

USTA’s Got You Covered

by Robin Bateman

We’ve all seen them, emails or headlines announcing how the USTA has money to give away…line grants for 10 and under tennis, matching funds for resurfacing, fencing, lighting; and percentage grants for new courts, and facilities. But it’s more than money. USTA offers a plethora of resources from facility concepts through contract bid review and everything in-between.

Who benefits from USTA’s monies, resources and recommendations?

Everyone. Including public parks, and private clubs; elementary, middle and high schools; college campuses, and even private educational institutions. If you’re in the business of promoting tennis, increasing traffic, training your staff then USTA has something for you. While the process is involved, recipients aren’t made to jump through hoops, however, USTA does want your ducks in a row. If you have a few stragglers, USTA helps you get them in line.
Types of resources and assistance

Advocacy - Standing before city council or county commissioners asking for large sums of money often sparks heated discussions. USTA understands the importance of connecting with local governments and having them buy-in to your facility wants and dreams. The Big Serve, USTA’s advocacy initiative, provides a ‘how-to’ handbook for getting your project ideas up and running, creating effective presentations for decision-makers along with tips on overcoming obstacles. Larger-scoped, or from-scratch projects benefit from utilizing the Initiative. “Many of our clients have visions,” says David LaSota, USTA’s national technical consultant, “but they don’t know where or how to start.” That’s where USTA Advocacy consultants come into play.

Technical - Provide assistance in development of facility concept plans, design and technical reviews, submissions development of specs for 10 and under tennis as well as make recommendations so that your facility is safe. Review construction docs and bid docs, make sure you are asking the right questions, …playground aq specs

When Stratford Academy, a private school located in Macon, Ga. wanted to build a new tennis court complex, Jim Daws, president of Serria Development and chairman of buildings and grounds at the academy discovered how beneficial the technical advice could be. “We were starting from scratch,” says Daws. “We needed to remove six existing out-of-date courts.” Questions buzzed around: “What orientation do the courts need to be? What about draining? “

Local tennis icon, Jaime Kaplan hooked Daws up with Robin Jones, USTA national facilities consultant. “Robin then put me in contact with David LaSota.” Daws says. “The entire process was very involved. We’d submit a proposal and they’d get back to us with, ‘rethink your drainage.’”

For Stratford, ideas hatched during May of 2009. Construction began during the fall of 2009. Despite some weather hiccups, the school played their first matches on brand new courts in April of 2010. “We have eight new lighted courts, four with blended lines for 10 and under tennis, locker rooms, and a concession area. The (technical) reviews kept us from making so many mistakes. And the end result is that we have the complex for a very long time.”
Funding – Three categories of funding are available. Category One includes basic improvements like fixed court amenities like backboards, lighting, and fencing, and 10 and under lines. USTA will contribute up to $4,000 but money must be matched dollar for dollar by the local community.
Category Two provides 20% of total cost for resurfacing courts (no more than $35,000)located in public parks.

Category Three provides 20% with a $50,000 max for new facility construction or existing facility reconstruction and expansion projects.

Ken Sumrow, Director of Tennis at High Point in Plano, TX applied for Category One funds. “We had five courts that needed to be resurfaced. In addition, we wanted to add QuickStart courts. High Point had a heavily used practice wall with courts laid end to end. Sunrow converted his backboard area into a 10 and under training/practice spot. Not only can folks still hit on the wall, kids can train, practice and play matches on short courts. “Receiving the grant money made it easier to install the QS lines,” says Sunrow. “Kids come out and practice on their own, now. There’s more energy and excitement during lessons. Kids are having fun and playing rather than their tennis being centered on instruction.”

Additional Resources –workshops
, tennis programming support, TSR, training and education; workshops for on-court personnel, manual. Tennis Court Maintenance and Construction Manual

Tips for submissions.
Complete your online Facility Assistance Form. This notifies the USTA of your
Don’t jump the gun. Some facilities submit their grant applications before the advocacy and technical stages have been completed.
Submit all images 1mg or smaller. Larger files …

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