By Andrew Wilson
Record Herald Writer
TIPP CITY — On Wednesday, Schroeder Tennis Center Owner Bud Schroeder and the Tipp City Chamber of Commerce broke ground on a $600,000 expansion project that will change the design of the facility.
The expansion project will increase the number of indoor courts and add a viewing and lobby area. There are currently five indoor courts, and putting the air structure over two in the winter made seven. Now the two courts that are outside will be placed into the steel building for a total of seven permanent indoors courts.
Four courts will be permanent outside courts that will only be used from April-October. The new design will also include a small court for children and a substantially larger viewing and lobby area.
According to Schroeder, the fading condition of the air structure was the main factor in the decision to expand the building.
“The reason this came about was our air structure was wearing out,” Schroeder said. “And we wanted to put up a steel building. The air structure is still good, but it’s a lot of work taking it down and putting it up every year. And this will give us a little bit nicer (courts). The courts are nicer when they’re in a steel building as opposed to an air structure.”
Bon Builders out of Vandalia, who designed and built the current Schroeder Tennis Center 18 years ago, will complete the expansion project. The project is being financed by PNC Bank and is expected to be completed by mid-November.
The Schroeder Tennis Center, which currently has about 900 members, offers men’s leagues, women’s leagues, junior leagues, daytime and evening leagues. A membership is $199 a year for an individual and $79 a year for a junior player. Members can participate on a team or in a league, rent court time or take lessons or classes. Schroeder noted that you do not have to be a member to take beginner classes.
Schroeder, a native of Baltimore, Md, started playing tennis when he was 12-years-old and started teaching the sport to adults and juniors at a park and recreation department in Baltimore County at age 16. Schroeder also played on the tennis team while attending Towson State University and taught lessons while working at an indoor club in Baltimore.
Schroeder later moved to Florida, attended Flagler College, competed on their tennis team and continued to teach the game after college. Schroeder moved to the Dayton area in 1988 and started working at a club in Dayton for eight years before opening his own tennis center.
Schroeder is a member of the United States Pro Tennis Association and helps teach the game at his shop along with the assistance of six others. Most of all, Schroeder and his assistants welcome people from all ages and ability levels.
“I think there’s a misconception that you have to be a good tennis player to be a member,” Schroeder said. “But, you don’t have to be, you can come in here and learn how to play tennis. You can never have picked a racket up in your life and you can come in and play tennis. And that’s what we do a lot of is get people started, kids and up. We have little kids, some of them started at four or five years old all the way up to 65, 70, 75-year-old people that are retired and play during the day.”
Anyone who is interested in becoming a member of the facility can visit schroedertennis.com or call (937) 669-5552.