Construction means closure of John Drew Smith Tennis Center on weekends

With the start of construction on the new John Drew Smith Tennis Center, it will be closed on Saturdays and Sundays beginning this weekend, except for major tournaments and large events.

During those days, programs and walk-up play will be at the Tattnall Square Park Tennis Center, near Mercer University.

Construction at the courts off Northside Drive started in mid-March and is expected to be completed before the end of the year.

The change in the schedule is due to lowered revenue on the weekend and the cost of the temporary bathrooms on those days. Initially, the Macon Tennis Association donated money to cover the costs, but those funds already have been used.

“We have a solid relationship with our tennis community, and they have been very supportive during this transition,” Parks and Recreation General Manager of Tennis Carl Hodge said in a release. “With this new center and the new courts and other improvements at the Tattnall Tennis Center, the SPLOST is having a significant impact on the tennis community.”

Construction of the new John Drew Smith Tennis Center is being done with more than $1.2 million from the voter-approved sales tax initiative. The new center will be two stories and will include a shaded observation deck, meeting space on the second floor, offices for the Macon Tennis Association, and a new and expanded pro shop.