Ribbon Cutting: Large crowd celebrates Grundy Tennis Center opening

KEARNEY – More than 100 people attended a ribbon-cutting Thursday hosted by the city of Kearney and Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the opening of the new Ernest Grundy Tennis Center.

A partnership between the University of Nebraska at Kearney and city, the indoor facility is located along North Railroad Street at the south edge of UNK’s University Village development.

The 62,000-square-foot facility features six indoor courts, offices for Kearney Park and Recreation and UNK tennis, locker space, restrooms and an elevated mezzanine area with spectator seating. Construction finished in May.

The center serves the UNK women’s team, as well as the Kearney Tennis Association and Kearney Park and Recreation. It is operated by the city, with UNK providing operational and maintenance support.

The $8.8 million project was primarily funded through private contributions and a $1.125 million grant awarded to the city by the state’s Civic and Community Center Financing Fund.

Grundy was a longtime English professor at Kearney State College who is credited with developing youth programs, contributing to the formation of the Kearney Tennis Association and organizing and directing tournaments and intercity matches with Grand Island, Hastings and Holdrege.

Among those speaking at Thursday’s event were: Ernest Grundy’s daughter, Jana Sorensen; Lucas Dart, University of Nebraska Foundation; Jon Watts, University of Nebraska at Kearney; Stan Clouse, Kearney mayor; Scott Hayden, city of Kearney; Derek Rusher, Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce; Kyle Flaherty, Kearney Park and Recreation Advisory Board; and Troy Saulsbury, Kearney Tennis Association.

Photos and Video by Todd Gottula, UNK Communications