UT breaks ground on Edgar O. and Melanie A. Weller Tennis Center
Aug. 9, 2011
AUSTIN, Texas -- The University of Texas broke ground and initiated construction of the Edgar O. and Melanie A. Weller Tennis Center Tuesday afternoon on the grounds of The University of Texas Golf Club. The $8 million facility, which will feature six indoor tennis courts and four outdoor tennis courts, is scheduled to open in the summer of 2012.
"This is an exciting day for Texas Tennis," said UT head coach Michael Center. "I'd like to thank the Weller family for getting this project started, and I'd like to send a special `thank you' to Graham Whaling for his contributions to finishing this project. There were a lot of people involved over the course of time who helped bring this to fruition. It is a great day for our tennis programs to see this project happen."
The facility will bear the names of the late Edgar O. Weller, a former Texas tennis letterwinner, and his wife, the late Melanie A. Weller. The Wellers established the Edgar O. and Melanie A. Weller Charitable Remainder Trust to provide significant funding for the facility.
"There have been so many people who have toiled tirelessly to make this happen," added UT head women's tennis coach Patty Fendick-McCain. "We are so grateful to our donors for making this happen. This facility is something our tennis programs have needed very badly, and we're absolutely thrilled to have a venue we can use in inclement weather and as a back-up site for our home matches. We are grateful that so many people, including former players, made such a commitment to our program."
As the indoor home for the University of Texas men's and women's tennis programs, the Longhorns will be able to utilize the Weller Tennis Center for team practices and to host collegiate tournaments and dual matches. Texas Tennis will continue to use Penick-Allison Tennis Center on the UT campus for outdoor practices, tournaments and dual matches.
"As we all know, weather impacts our sport a great deal," Center said. "We play a portion of our matches indoors early in the season. This will give us a huge advantage that we haven't had in the past. It is a big step for our program to add this facility. Our team will designate some of our dual matches to be played specifically at this facility with a great atmosphere. It will be nice to play matches there in advance of the annual ITA National Team Indoor Championships."
"We've had some issues with weather in the six years I have been here, and we have had to cancel a few matches," Fendick-McCain said. "When we schedule non-conference teams who come from great distances to play matches here, it will be great to have that back-up and know we will be able to play our match.
"We have had to practice in sub-freezing temperatures on a few occasions," Fendick-McCain added. "Being able to practice indoors will reduce the chances of injury and illness, and it will maximize our opportunities to work with our student-athletes. We compete in national individual and team indoor events throughout the season, often against teams who are primarily indoor teams. Now, we will have greater opportunities to prepare for those matches."
"I was fortunate to have the opportunity to meet Mr. and Mrs. Weller," Center concluded. "We are so grateful for their contributions that allowed us to get this project off of the ground. We cannot be more thankful for what they did for Texas Tennis. Edgar played for Texas in the 1930s, and Graham Whaling played for Texas in the 1970s. It is unique that these gentlemen -- two of our key contributors -- were former players who loved UT and wanted to give back."
The Edgar O. and Melanie A. Weller Tennis Center