ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS (May 24, 2023) — Together with the City of Rock Island, Augustana College has broken ground on a tennis complex at Lincoln Park Wednesday, May 23. College and city administrators dug in with ceremonial shovels to kick off the project that is slated to open for college and community in the fall of 2023.

In February, Augustana announced the $1.5 million project that will create six National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) regulation tennis courts adjacent to campus at 38th Street and 11th Avenue. The project, which includes a ten-year lease to the college of that section of the park, will relocate Augustana’s teams from their current facilities near the Roy J Carver Physical Education Center.

The project was designed by Bettendorf-based Shive-Hattery Inc, and Estes Construction is construction manager. In addition to lighted courts, the complex will include bleachers, restrooms, and seventeen parking stalls.

Augustana College President Andrea Talentino said she is pleased to see this project take shape and eager to welcome both Augustana athletes and community residents to enjoy tennis and pickleball at the courts.

“This partnership with Rock Island is a hallmark of the positive relationship the college has built with the city over decades,” Talentino said. “It’s also symbolic of the college’s longstanding commitment to student-athletes.”

Rock Island Mayor Mike Thoms said, “Augustana has been a wonderful partner for many years. Once again, it's great to see a project like these new tennis courts come together for the betterment of the community and the college."

Augustana’s rosters include about thirty students, and players come from five states and six countries. Combined, the teams have claimed four Collegiate Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin championships in the past five years. In the 2021-22 school year, seven women and seven men were named Intercollegiate Tennis Association Scholar-Athletes.

Head coach David DeSimone said his student-athletes are excited to have top-notch facilities adjacent to campus.

“Our men’s and women’s tennis teams are comprised of excellent student-athletes from across the country and the world,” he said. “The opportunity to play on these new courts will surely add to the success of these students.”

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