Tennis & Learning Center Coming To Crotona Park
On May 22, the New York Junior Tennis & Learning (NYJTL) and the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation broke ground on the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning in Crotona Park, Bronx. The event gave attendees,including tennis legend Billie Jean King, fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, former Mayor David Dinkins and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., a first look at the new Center, which will serve all five boroughs of NYC and provide children with 6,053 hours of free tennis lessons and academic enrichment each year.
“The opening of the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis and Learning will make it possible for us to bring our mission to thousands of youngsters who would otherwise not have the opportunity to become involved in a ‘sport with a future,’”said Dr. Deborah Antoine, President and CEO of NYJTL.
Named after world-ranked professional tennis player Cary Leeds, the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning is a $23 million public/private partnership with the City of New York. This includes a recently completed, multi-phase $7.5 million reconstruction of Crotona’s 20 outdoor tennis courts – funded with allocations by Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council, and an upcoming $7 million project to create two sunken, stadium courts – funded by the City Council, Bronx Borough President Diaz Jr., and Mayor Bloomberg. These projects have also been supported and fully embraced by Bronx Community Board 3.
“I am proud to join New York Junior Tennis & Learning to celebrate the beginning of construction on the Cary Leeds Center,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White. “Crotona Park is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year and the Bronx’s tennis community has called it home since the 1930s. Thanks to ourpublic-private partnership,a new generation will now be able to discover Crotona Park and the game of tennis.”
With two exhibition courts, 20 adjacent courts and a 12,000 square-foot-clubhouse, the design of the Center by GLUCK + has been approved by the Public Design Commission and received a 2012 Public Design Commission Design Award by Mayor Bloomberg.
NYJTL strives to provide NYC children with a community of tennis and academic support while offering them a courtside view of the world. The non-profit organization hopes to further these goals with the inception of the Cary Leeds Center, which will feature world-class local, national and international professional tournaments to inspire children to play as they move on to the college level. NYJTL also expects these tournaments to bring new energy and financial vitality to the South Bronx by attracting visitors from around the globe.