Noblesville Schools proposes $4 million tennis facility as its latest capital project

Noblesville Schools' latest proposal in a string of capital projects is a $4 million varsity tennis facility. (Image courtesy Noblesville Schools)

Noblesville Schools’ latest proposal in a string of recent capital projects could bring a $4 million varsity tennis facility to the district’s property just north of Noblesville East Middle School.

Noblesville Schools Director of Marketing and Communications Marnie Cooke said the district’s recent and ongoing construction projects are addressing longstanding, overdue facility needs to accommodate student and community growth.

Recently completed projects include a $6 million community center, $5.1 million North Elementary School  expansion, $3.9 million of additions to Noble Crossing and Hazel Dell elementary schools, and $2 million for soccer and maintenance building expansions. Even as its $14 million stadium project is under way, the district is planning to spend another $4 million be used to construct a 12-court tennis facility.

“This facility is important to meeting growing demand for our high school tennis program, ” David Mundy, associate superintendent of Noblesville Schools, said in a written statement. “If approved, the new facility will provide the additional court space we need and enhance our growing campus in this corner of Noblesville, without raising the tax rate or using referendum funds.”

Cooke said those completed and in-progress projects will address enrollment growth in the district without affecting taxes the way building a new school might.

Two decades ago, there were roughly 6,200 students enrolled with Noblesville Schools. By 2011, that had grown to 9,008. This year, that number is roughly 10,300 students.

“We’ve had pretty significant growth over the past decade, but it’s actually slowing. It’s projected to decrease in the future, and not increase,” Cooke said.

Noblesville Schools conducted a demographics study in 2019 that projects there will be a few years of “tight” capacity in their facilities before enrollment levels off. The recent elementary and a high school expansion—as well as a rebalancing of the school boundaries—will allow the district to avoid paying to build an additional school.

Each of those expansion projects is part of the district’s long-term plan to develop properties within its campus, which stretches from White River Elementary and includes Noblesville High School, its soccer complex, cross country course, the current Beaver Field stadium and Noblesville East Middle School.

The 15,000-square-foot Noblesville Schools Community Center was completed and opened in February. The facility includes two large classroom areas, four offices, and onsite kitchen, technology learning spaces and a 7,500-square-foot open space with hard surface flooring, technology equipment and high ceilings that can be used as one open space or separated for multiple groups.

Nearby, the new $14 million football, band and track stadium is on track for completion by next spring. The stadium is expected to seat about 6,300, or about 50 percent more than the 4,200-seat Beaver Materials Field at the Dale V. Swanson Sports Complex, which was built in 1969.

Noblesville Schools’ recent string of capital projects includes a $14 million football, band and track stadium scheduled for completion next spring. (Image courtesy Noblesville Schools)

If the district’s proposal for the tennis facility receives approval from the school board on Aug. 17, construction could start Sept. 1 and the facility could be completed in May 2022.

The Noblesville City Council approved Noblesville Schools’ petition Tuesday night to amend a previously adopted preliminary development plan for the properties at 1610 and 1650 Field Drive.

The school district has owned the dilapidated worship building, accessory structures and former single-family home on that 5.6-acre property since 2014. The plan is to replace those structures with a 12-court tennis facility featuring four 50-seat bleachers, a 131-space parking lot and a roughly 2,100-square-foot, single-story building for ticket sales, offices, lockers, concessions and restrooms.

“The new courts allow us to meet demand and continued growth at NHS for an expanded tennis program. Our current courts are shared by NHS and Noblesville East Middle School,” Cooke said.

There are already 12 tennis courts on the south side of Field Drive that will be preserved for use by the middle school and for public access. The varsity courts will be closed to the public and used only for varsity tournaments.

In addition to those improvements, the school plans to build a crosswalk across Field Drive to connect the current campuses to that facility.

Noblesville Schools first went through the development review of those properties in 2015. At the time, the plan was to use the former church building for additional classrooms, meeting rooms and instructional areas for secondary students. The single-family home was to be used for life-skills training for secondary students.

“We did use the building on the property for special education life skills classes and alternative education programming for a brief time, but that was never the long-term intent,” Cooke said. “The building was old and in disrepair and we have used it for the last 5 to 6 years for storage.”

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7 thoughts on “Noblesville Schools proposes $4 million tennis facility as its latest capital project

  1. How come we never see things like “Noblesville school spends $4 million on their STEM program….” A $4 million dollar investment in STEM related items would likely increase the future salaries of Noblesville students by over $4 million in aggregate. What is the return from 12 tennis courts?

  2. How about $4 million for a skills training lab to teach welding, plumbing, electric, HVAC, etc.? Tennis? Come on people, stop wasting other people’s money.