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‘Bigger and better’: How a Conway tennis center is rebuilding after Florence flooding

Drone video of Conway, SC, and cresting of the Waccamaw River

Floodwaters from Hurricane Florence's deluge of rain crest in the seat of Horry County, Conway, S.C.
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Floodwaters from Hurricane Florence's deluge of rain crest in the seat of Horry County, Conway, S.C.

The City of Conway is moving forward with plans to rebuild the Riverfront Tennis Center after it was destroyed late last year from flooding after Hurricane Florence.

City council voted Monday to accept a grant from the United States Tennis Association to fully design and engineer a new facility with the hope of reopening within the next 18 months. The planning will be completely funded by the association with no city contribution needed, according to city spokeswoman Taylor Newell.

The current seven-court facility, at 7 Elm St., will be demolished with funding from FEMA, and the plan is to rebuild the courts and clubhouse higher to mitigate against future flooding. The demolition is expected to occur in early July.

The new tennis center will have eight clay, ADA-compliant courts, which will allow the facility to host tennis tournaments.

“We believe it will be bigger and better than before both in courts and programming opportunities,” Todd Carlson, USTA National manager of CTAs, parks and tennis facility development said in a news release. “Your community deserves the best, and we plan to provide our expertise to make it happen.”

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The City of Conway plans to rebuild the Riverfront Tennis Center with the help of a grant from the United States Tennis Association. The faciility was damaged during Hurricane Florence’s flooding but is expected to reopen in the next 18 months. JASON LEE jlee@thesunnews.com

Newell said the city hasn’t set aside any money to rebuild the center, but they’re hopeful the project will be fully covered by FEMA.

In the absence of Riverfront Tennis Center, the only publicly available tennis courts in Conway are located at Collins Park and Smith-Jones Recreation Center.

Horry County Schools was previously in discussion with the city about working together to build a new tennis center that could be used by Conway High School, but Newell confirmed that those talks haven’t continued.

Investigative project reporter David Weissman joined The Sun News after three years working at The York Dispatch in Pennsylvania, where he earned awards for his investigative reports on topics including health, business, politics and education.
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