Flower Mound residents will have a chance to vote on a new multimillion-dollar tennis center in May.

The Town Council voted unanimously Feb. 6 to place Proposition A—construction of a $15 million tennis center at Trotter Park—on the May 6 general election ballot. If passed, officials expect a two-year time frame for it to be built with a tentative 2025 completion date.

Through surveys beginning in 2010 and relayed through the town’s Parks and Trails Master Plan through 2023, officials identified a public tennis center was a priority for Flower Mound residents, according to Parks and Recreation Director Chuck Jennings.

“[This vote] now gives Flower Mound voters a chance to decide whether or not they would like to fund the construction of a tennis center,” Jennings said.

The cost of the center will be split up among different town accounts, per Town Manager James Childers. Half of the $15 million will be pulled from the general obligation bond program. The other $7.5 million will be split evenly between the general fund, the park development fund and Flower Mound’s 4B Sales Tax, which dedicates one-fourth of 1% of all sales tax collections to parks and recreation improvements.

Childers said the election gives residents a “unique opportunity” to vote on whether the town should borrow money to construct the center.

“For years, the town has heard requests from community members for a tennis center or for additional tennis courts, and now all registered voters in Flower Mound get to decide whether or not this is a project we should pursue,” he said. “Staff will be here to support whatever decision is ultimately made.”

No decisions have been made for if town voters ultimately choose not to pass Proposition A and the tennis center on May 6.

“Flower Mound Town Council, staff and our consultant have done a lot of work preparing information on what a potential tennis center could look like, how it would be funded and operated, and where it would be located,” Flower Mound Mayor Derek France said. “Now, it’s up to the residents of Flower Mound to decide whether or not this is an amenity they want to fund.”

Taking stock

An agenda item for an April 2022 workshop said Flower Mound has “fallen short on the recommended level of service for public tennis courts for many years, with only five public courts for 80,000 residents.”

Construction of the new center would aim to address that, officials said. The new center’s design, according to documents presented in the feasibility study and noted in an official rendering, would include 16 lighted tennis courts, a clubhouse with restrooms, walking trails, a playground and parking. It will also include 12 lighted pickleball courts to address the game’s rise in popularity throughout the county.

“We’ve had a lot of interest in this from residents who want to play tennis and pickleball in Flower Mound,” Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Ann Martin said. “I don’t know if [getting this] is going to be a battle, but it’s going to take work to get the word out for it to pass. And even if it isn’t approved, we’ll still need more tennis courts in Flower Mound.”

Residents will be on the hook for parts of the project.

If repayment is issued equally between funds, the projected increase in property tax would be $0.0022 on a median home value of $448,540—or an extra $0.82 per month or $9.87 per year.

Town officials added the center would cost $609,000 to operate during the first year, with approximately $719,000 in estimated maintenance costs.

Residents respond

Officials pointed out that tennis and pickleball courts do exist in and around Flower Mound.

In the town’s 2022 feasibility study, 91% of surveyed residents said they would use a tennis center, whether through drop-in play, scheduled tennis lessons, leagues and tournaments, or for pickleball. Of surveyed residents, 56% said they would use a tennis center at least twice a week—with 20% saying they would go up to four times a week.

When considering seasonal play, 88% said they would use the center in the spring, 85% during the fall, 69% during the summer and 67% during the winter.

Pickleball’s rise in popularity was also highlighted in the survey, with 34% of all respondents noting they would use the courts specifically for the game.

Finally, 81% of respondents said the town needs more accessible tennis courts, period.

Tennis courts can be found within the town at Glenwick Park, which has one court; Leonard and Helen Johns Community Park, which has four courts; the Bridlewood Homeowners Association, which has five courts; and the Wellington Homeowners Association, which has five courts. There are also available courts at nearby Argyle, Lewisville, Flower Mound and Marcus high schools.

Including courts in nearby towns, Flower Mound residents have close access to 84 courts—but the public noted a myriad of issues with each in the most recent feasibility survey, from poor lighting to obstructed spectator views, maintenance issues, distance from residents and the fact that many courts are for private use only.

Per the survey, the town of Flower Mound “owns, manages and maintains” only two areas where tennis courts are available.

“It would fill a gigantic need for the community,” said Lori Fickling, Lewisville Chamber of Commerce president. “I play pickleball, but have to drive to Southlake to find a court. This would be huge to have such a nice place nearby.”