9/12/16 ASHLAND, Ohio – The newly renovated and expanded Deborah Liebert Karl Tennis Complex was dedicated in a ceremony on Sunday, Sept. 11, prior to Ashland University's women's tennis Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference match on Sunday afternoon.
During the dedication, Karl, a 1972 alumna who gifted $250,000 to the renovation project, said while she never played tennis, she wanted to do something for the betterment of the university. The need to upgrade the tennis facility was brought to her attention, setting the wheels in motion.
“The renovations made to our tennis complex are exceptional,” said AU Director of Athletics Al King. “We've been able to upgrade the facilities in a variety of ways. We've resurfaced the courts, added a sixth court and bleachers and added and upgraded our signage. These changes will enhance the experience of the student-athletes and our fans.
“We believe this gives us a top-notch facility. It expands what we can do – we can practice better, run better matches thanks to the sixth court and the other amenities we've added, and it gives us the possibility to do more with our camp offerings.”
Work on the facility began in May shortly after graduation and continued through July. According to Rick Ewing, AU vice president for facilities management and planning, the last two weeks have seen final touches put on landscaping, sidewalks, bleachers and assorted amenities.
“It's really been a complete transformation of what was a good facility into an outstanding facility,” Ewing said. “It is something our campus and tennis team can really be proud of.”
Ashland's women's tennis team played its first match at the new-look complex on Saturday (Sept. 10), losing to Hillsdale in its season opener.
King noted, "Finally, this is a facility that the community can use. This renovation bolsters tennis not just on campus, but in the city of Ashland and the surrounding area."