Domed tennis courts coming to Porter County
By Amy Lavalley Post-Tribune correspondent October 13, 2012 5:35PM
Updated: November 15, 2012 6:32AM
VALPARAISO — Porter County will soon be sporting its first domed tennis courts.
The Courts of Northwest Indiana, at 127 U.S. 6 in Liberty Township, received unanimous approval last week from the Porter County Plan Commission to construct six asphalt tennis courts under a dome that spans 39,600 square feet.
“We’re hoping to be open by the first of January,” said Mark Bengel, owner of the sports facility, which also offers basketball programming and houses Lakeshore Gymnastics.
The facility opened about six years ago with three indoor tennis courts, but one of those was removed to make way for the gymnastics training, Bengel said.
“The increase in tennis has caused us to build six indoor tennis courts,” he said.
The dome will be southwest of the existing building. A 1,800-square-foot clubhouse will include showers, a lounge and entrance into the tennis courts.
A pad is already down for the tennis courts, and contractors will begin digging footings Monday. The asphalt for the courts should be done next month, with the dome delivered in early December.
Though there is a similar structure in Crown Point, this is the first dome in Porter County, according to Bengel and Robert Thompson, the county’s planning director.
The domes have been around since the 1960s, Bengel said, and are built to withstand high winds and tough weather. He added they are popular in Canada.
“They’re efficient buildings to build,” he said.
Come spring, Bengel will go to planning officials with a proposal for another dome, which will be 75,000 square feet and will house soccer fields on the building’s north side.