Biszantz Family Tennis Center Wins City Design Award

The Biszantz Family Tennis Center at CMC has received an Excellence in Design Award from the Claremont Architectural Commission, in the category of New Construction and Sustainable Landscaping.

The award is one of six presented to facilities that were completed prior to 2009. The Biszantz Center was dedicated, and opened for match play, in January 2009.

“The Center is incredibly spectator-friendly, either for college dual matches or tournament play,” says CMC Head Men’s Tennis Coach, Paul Settles. “And there really isn’t a place at the facility where you don’t have a great view of several courts. It is the ideal facility to play, watch, or coach tennis.”

The Excellence in Design Award is part of a program established by the Claremont Architectural Commission in 1980 to recognize and encourage high quality design projects by publicly recognizing completed projects that best exhibit the standards of design excellence.

Joanne Jo, assistant planner for the city of Claremont, says nominated projects are typically categorized by: new construction, renovation, addition, landscaping, signs and sustainable development.

She says the Biszantz Center was selected based on the quality of construction and careful site configuration. Specifically, commissioners were impressed with the way CMC handled the removal of existing oak trees on the premises. Those trees were either relocated on the site or replaced (if removal was necessary) when the project was completedso that the number of trees before and after the project didn’t change.

Commissioners also noted the College’s attention to landscaping, a combination of water-efficient native plants and drought-tolerant varieties, Jo says.

“As far as new construction goes, I think the center is both aesthetically beautiful while having great day-to-day utility,” Settles says. “Every space at the Center gets consistent daily use in a variety of different ways, whether for athletics, academics, or social functions.”

Although the Center doesn’t directly impact the quality of play on the courts, it does help to attract better tennis players, he notes. It was the site of the 2009 NCAA Men’s Division III Championships and will serve as host site again for the 2011 Men’s and Women’s Division III Championships.

“We also hosted an international junior Boys and Girls 18 and Under event at Biszantz for the first time in 2010,” Settles says. “As elite players are exposed to the facility and all that it has to offer, we hope that they will want to train and compete there as part of one of CMS’ teams.

“Next year it would be great to be playing for a national championship at our very own award-winning facility,” he adds.

The Architectural Commission will hold a reception for the award winners at 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday, June 9 in the City Hall lobby, preceding its regularly scheduled meeting. A formal awards presentation will follow at 7 p.m. Recipients receive a framed certificate signed by the chair of the commission and the city mayor, along with a framed photo of their particular project.

It’s not the first honor for the The Biszantz Family Tennis Center, which won the 2009 Outdoor Tennis Facility of the Year Award given by the American Sports Builders Association.

And, Settles says that he has submitted paperwork for the Center to be nominated for the 2010 USTA (United States Tennis Association) Outstanding Facility Award.