Over the past number of months, many people have been wondering what exactly has been happening adjacent to Lough Lannagh Holiday Village, with sights of heavy machinery taking away mounds and mounds of earth. The big hill, which once graced the area there, is no longer to be seen, but in its place the brand new Connacht Regional Tennis Centre is being constructed. This is just phase One of a multi million-euro project for Castlebar Tennis Club. Castlebar firm of David O’Malley and Associates has designed the complete project.
The main contractor on site is Mulvey Construction Limited. The principal of the company , Michael Mulvey, has spent the last 20 years working in construction in Germany and he has brought some of his German technology to bear on the tennis court construction. The local firm of Michael O’Malley Tarmacadam is laying the very impressive tarmacadam surface on the six courts. Within the next few months, this greenfield site will be transformed from a virtual wilderness into a state-of-the art tennis centre, to cater for all tennis enthusiasts in Castlebar, as well as all the up and coming talented players from around the west of Ireland. Tom Murphy, Chairman of the Development Committee, stated “By July 31. the six outdoor courts will have received their final tarmacadam covering, in preparation for the artificial grass surfacing in early September. As well as that, the perimeter fencing and kerbing will be completed, which will mean Phase One will be almost complete.” The Lough Lannagh site will be the hub of professional coaching in the region, where elite tennis squads will train on the best artificial grass court surfaces in the world. The actual artificial surfaces are due to be put in place during the first week in September, when the powerful outdoor lighting will also be installed. Immediately after that, Phase two will commence, which entails the construction of the new clubhouse and ancillary services and the final completion date is March 2009. “All our members are extremely happy and indeed proud,” said Club Chairman Anne O’Malley, “that this major development, which is by far the biggest project ever undertaken by our tennis club, is right on schedule and will come in on budget.”