A jewel in the rough

New Albany has built a beautiful tennis complex that already is a showplace for tennis tournaments that will attract players not only from the region, but also from neighboring states.

The new courts and pavilion in BNA Bank Park North are a first class facility that can only impress our out-of-town guests. Unfortunately, the first impression for visitors to the facility is not the beautiful tennis courts.
Instead, it’s an unmarked, turnoff from Bankhead Street onto an unlit road in serious need of repaving that is lined with trees, some of which are dead.
Where the road runs out, an un-landscaped gravel parking lot is to the right. The parking lot also has no lights.
None of this, of course, is the long-term plan. The city plans to put a thin layer of asphalt on the parking lot soon and then wait several months to see if settling problems with the dirt have subsided before applying a thick permanent layer.
Wiring also has been installed for parking lot lights, but at the present time the wires just protrude from the dirt.
We understand the money issues with the project and that some promised private funding help has not come through. However, the impression of our facility and our city is being made every time someone drives down the entrance road.
The Board of Aldermen needs to install a quality “BNA Bank Park North” sign and repave, landscape and light the entrance road now. Parking lot lights should be done now; it’s a safety issue.
We won’t have a second chance to create a first impression with hundreds of tennis and soccer players and their families who will visit the complex in the coming year.