After months of planning, partnership and hard work, community members came together to celebrate the brand new Marshalltown Court Complex Tuesday afternoon.
Marshalltown Schools Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte introduced the exceptional new facilities – including 12 new tennis courts and three new pickleball courts – and shared the District’s gratitude for the community partnerships that made the sports facility a reality.
“The reality is our kids deserve what other kids in other parts of the state and country have, which are high-quality facilities to learn a lifelong sport and, for those who want to compete, to compete at a really high level,” Dr. Schutte said.
Marshalltown School Board Vice President Sean Heitmann praised the new facility and thanked Dr. Schutte for his work to organize the many partnerships that made the project possible.
“This is a great deal for our kids, it’s a great deal for our community. I hope it gets tremendous use,” Heitmann said.
The project saw the City of Marshalltown and MCSD continue a partnership going back more than four decades, starting with the eight previous tennis courts originally installed in 1974. The significant deterioration of the previous courts was a major factor in pursuing the Marshalltown Court Complex project.
“Marshalltown is a fun place to live because there’s so much collaboration going on here,” said Marshalltown Mayor Joel Greer. “If you have a good idea and the right people behind it, it happens, and that’s exactly what happened here.”
Contributions from national, regional, and state divisions of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) were also vital to the creation of the Marshalltown Court Complex. In total, the USTA, USTA Missouri Valley, and USTA Iowa District gave $91,500 in support of the project; the funding also supports increased tennis curriculum in physical education classes District-wide.
The Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation played a crucial role in ensuring pickleball facilities were included in the Marshalltown Tennis Complex, providing $150,000 toward the project. Pickleball, a paddle sport played on a small court, has seen increasing popularity locally and nationally in recent years; the specialized courts at the new facility will offer community members access to this fun sport.
“The Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation was excited to support this opportunity to provide students with yet another quality athletic complex,” said Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation Executive Director Karn Gregoire.
Additionally, the Zink family provided $25,000 toward the project, and Bobcats Softball coach Jim Palmer was pivotal in providing seating at the new sports complex. The MHS Class of 1969, led by Lyle Jensen and former Bobcats Girls Tennis coach Billy Wilson, donated several evergreen trees to act as windbreaks on the north side of the facility grounds.
“This is an incredible complex,” Wilson said at Tuesday’s grand opening.
Dr. Schutte said the complex is very near completion, and the project is expected to come to a close within the next few weeks. Marshalltown Schools appreciates all of our partners and community members who supported this important project. The Marshalltown Court Complex will provide Marshalltown community members with recreational and competitive opportunities for years to come.