Despite Charge,Use Up
In 2005, the University of Mary Washington opened the doors to the new $4 million indoor Tennis center. The University Tennis Center is one of the top facilities in the country and though University faculty are supportive, many students are turned off by the fees charged for play time or are unaware that the facility even exists.
Rick Pearce, associate vice president for Business and Finance, stated the facility was funded by private donations of $1.5 million and state revenue bonds of $2.5 million. Pearce also stated the facility’s debt plus operating costs were $374,987 in 2006-2007.
According to the Tennis Center’s website, the rates to use the new tennis center are listed as $8 for students and their family for one hour, and $16 for faculty or staff and their families. There are also various membership fees for multiple plays, which range from $360 for individuals to $480 for families.
Junior Elizabeth Elle Weaver said that she would not pay to play.
“When I took tennis for P.E. I really liked the indoor facility, but I’m turned off by the fact that I would have to pay to play tennis,” said Weaver. “We are broke college students and even if it’s two bucks or whatever, that’s too much.”
Despite the fact that students must pay to use the facilities, student increase in the center has increased since last year, according to tennis center director, Dan Paitrick.
“Overall play has increased about 30 percent from last year to this year,” said Patrick. “The faculty have been playing more and last year some people did not know we were down here.”
Sophomore Sam Miller appreciates the ability to have access to the new facility despite its fees and has even found a way to avoid paying them.
“It’s a great facility,” said Miller. “It’s especially good when the outdoor courts are available because then it’s free.”
To determine the price of court and utility usage, the University researched the fees of other indoor facilities within the country and state, according to Paitrick.
“The University has budgeted and expects to generate $75,000 in fee revenue for this current year,” said Pearce. “In 2006-2007, $69,963 in user fees was generated.”
All proceeds from tennis center fees go straight to the facility.
The University Tennis Center has won numerous awards for the facility including the most recent 2007 USTA Outstanding Facility of the Year. It has also been the facility for the 2006 NCAA Division III Men’s Championship and the 2007 NCAA Division III Women‘s Championship.
“The state-of-the-art facilities—-indoor and outdoor—-are far above what most Division III facilities have,” said Paitrick.
Head UMW men’s tennis coach Todd Helbling describes how positive the University Tennis Center is to the university and tennis enthusiasts.
“The University Tennis Center is fantastic and all I had hoped it would be,” said Helbling. “It is absolutely a positive for the university as a whole and specifically for our teams and those who love to play tennis throughout the year.”