After more than $75, 000 was spent, BTC now has a total of 12 courts (eight previously), including six 36-foot courts specifically designed to accommodate players 10 years old or younger.
“My father [Ernest Peterson] was honored while he was living and afterwards they really wanted to support the program and continue his legacy and what we are doing,” said Jewel Peterson, the director of Peterson School of Tennis.
“So this is the blessing we were able to get as a result,” she said. “We were really honored and blessed and really thankful to the Lord for allowing this opportunity to happen for us.”
The renovation, which was the facility’s first since it was built more than 35 years ago, began in the latter half of May and was completed June 4.
“The USTA is awesome,” Peterson said. “They made sure everything was right. Their contractors were great.”
This retooling project was also special for PST because it is now one of the few facilities in the country to have the 36-foot courts instead of just 78-foot courts.
“Eventually all the courts in the country will, at some point, have the smaller courts,” Peterson said. “That is the USTA’s goal. We are just fortunate to be one of the very few in the nation to have this setup.”
According to Peterson, the USTA made this adjustment to revive the youth’s interest.
“USTA found that we were losing a lot of kids as a result,” she said. “It was just too hard to be good at tennis when they’re that small. So the USTA said ‘how can we continue to get kids interested in the game? How can we continue to get kids involved with the sport?’
“So one of the things was to have these small courts at facilities and make it so kids would have to compete on them,” Peterson said.
And the benefits for young players?
“They love it because they are much more successful at tennis,” Peterson said. “They are able to have rallies. It’s hard to have a rally when you are so small and the court is so big.”
There will also be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at PST on July 16.