Tennis court shelter concept accepted

by Kelly Corbett
Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Staff photo by Emmy Errante 

The Wrightsville Beach Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, left to right: Trish Green, Charlotte Murchison, Greg Files, Katrina Morton, Kitty Brunjes, Penny Tillery and Elise Running.

By the summer, tennis players in Wrightsville Beach could have a tennis court shelter at Wrightsville Beach Park.

The proposal for the shelter comes from the Wrightsville Beach Foundation and Eagle Scout Nick Randise, and was presented to the Wrightsville Beach Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee on Monday, March 4.

Randise showed a picture of a shelter at Empie Park, but said he would make the shelter at Wrightsville Beach Park more beach-like and similar to the Lumina Station sign.

He said he would extend the roofline to create more shade for players under the 4-foot wide shelter proposed for the four-court complex.

Jim Smith, of the Wrightsville Beach Foundation, said Frank Smith (no relation), of Smith 2 Architecture and Design, designed the Lumina Station sign, and would design the Wrightsville Beach Park shelter.

“We’ve got the liability and structure issues covered,” Smith said.

Dr. Bruce Chapman, Randise’s mentor, said if all of the approvals are complete by the time the current school year ends, the shelter should be complete before summertime.

“As a practical matter, we need to have our act together and everything ready by May 1,” Chapman said.

The committee voted unanimously to accept the shelter proposal. Smith said the final design would be brought back before the committee once it’s complete.

The proposed kayak launch on Lees Cut, between Channel Walk and the first house on Pelican Drive, supported by committee members at the February meeting, has garnered public attention since then.

As of March 5, a petition started by Pamela Brissette on had 42 supporters with comments citing safety hazards, parking and trespassing issues and increased noise as reasons opposing the kayak launch.

“The proposed kayak launch on Pelican Drive adjacent to the Channel Walk community would prove to be a safety hazard for the public as well as our community,” Brissette wrote in the petition addressed to Wrightsville Beach Mayor David Cignotti and the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen. “It would bring more congestion along Pelican Drive and endanger bikers, walkers and motorists. The kayakers would increase current problems for our community with parking and trespassing. I am opposed to the current plan to construct a kayak launch off Pelican Drive adjacent to Channel Walk.”

Katie Ryan, parks and recreation program supervisor, said she does not know if the item would be on the board of aldermen’s March agenda, but a public hearing will be held along with the item.

The parks and recreation department will hold two kids’ cooking class camps for the first time this summer, one for third through fifth graders and one for sixth through eighth graders.

The committee, made up of four new members, will take an ethics course on May 3, at University of North Carolina Wilmington.


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