Sparta Area Schools High School Tennis Complex Wins American Sports Builders Association Top Outdoor Tennis Award for 2023
The American Sports Builders Association (ASBA), the national organization for builders and suppliers of materials for athletic facilities, has announced the winners of its annual awards with GMB winning the outdoor tennis facility of the year honor. Sparta Area Schools’ new high school tennis complex was recognized as the top tennis facility at the 2023 ASBA Technical Meeting in Dallas, TX in December.
Sparta’s new facility consists of eight, post-tensioned concrete outdoor courts at the high school as the final project of the $58.6 million bond passed in 2016. The tennis court project was part of an overall athletics overhaul that improved multiple athletic facilities for Sparta Area Schools and their community. The bond also included a new middle school, improvements to multiple elementary buildings, and upgrades to the football, soccer, and track stadium.
“Sparta Area Schools is very proud of our athletic facilities,” said Joel Stoner, Superintendent at Sparta Public Schools. “The new tennis courts are an amazing addition to our facilities and a highly appealing aesthetic added to the high school campus.”
The courts layout and design encourage movement throughout the complex, connecting the courts along a central walkway. The three-tier built in place seat-walls and portable bleachers create a variety of viewing opportunities for spectators. All courts and viewing sections are ADA accessible for an equitable fan experience. The new entrance, court colors and graphic elements unite the space in reflection of the Sparta district’s identity.
“Creating a centralized facility near the high school ensures that this program is highly visible and acts as a real celebration of athletics,” said Matt Heidloff, landscape architect at GMB. “This is a project the whole community of Sparta can be proud of.”
This is the fourth time a GMB tennis project has been awarded a project of the year honor by the ASBA. Previous projects recognized for this honor include Cranbrook Schools Tennis Complex (2022), the William Clay Ford Courts at the University of Michigan (2018), and the VandePoel-Heeringa Stadium Courts at Hope College (2013). GMB has also received 21 distinguished awards from ASBA for other athletic facility projects in the past twelve years.
Awards are presented each year to facilities built by ASBA members, which best exemplify excellence in sports facility design and construction, as well as an understanding of the technical requirements and current professional standards for athletics facilities. Projects are scored individually based on considerations such as layout and design, site work, drainage, base construction, surface, amenities, innovation, and overall impression.
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About Sparta Area Schools
Sparta Area Schools provide students with a safe and orderly environment where the emphasis is on mastering the basics. Without much of the peer pressure facing students in more urban schools, Sparta's students can focus on the job of learning, and on developing their potential. In addition, we are a district big enough to offer a variety of course work or curricular options but small enough to provide abundant opportunity for students to participate in music, athletics, and drama. The District strives to create valuable relationships and innovative learning experiences within our schools and community that empowers all learners to thrive and excel. Learn more at www.spartaschools.org.
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