Rice University will hold a ceremonial groundbreaking for the new George R. Brown Tennis Complex at 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 7. The ceremony will take place on the site of the new complex, which will be located near Rice Stadium in West Lot No. 3, 6100 Main St.
The new $8 million complex will be named for George R. Brown, former chair of the Rice Board of Trustees. Brown was a prominent Houston businessman and philanthropist who served on the Rice board for more than 25 years, from 1943 to 1968. Ralph and Becky O'Connor and their family provided lead funding for the project. Brown served as both Ralph O'Connor's mentor and business associate, and is the grandfather of O'Connor's four children. O'Connor is a trustee emeritus of Rice; he served on the board from 1978 to 1988.
The new facility will have 14 tennis courts, coaches' offices, locker rooms, training and equipment rooms and covered spectator seating. Competition-quality lights will give Rice the ability to play matches at night, and the court configuration will give coaches better visual access to monitor team play. Spectators will benefit from seating that allows for viewing multiple matches. The new facility will also accommodate intramural activities and the Rice Tennis Club. The Brown Tennis Complex is expected to be ready for use by next tennis season. Renderings of the new facility will be available at the event.
The groundbreaking is open to the public, and refreshments will be served following the ceremony. Attendees should enter Rice at Gate 17, located on Rice Boulevard at Shepherd Drive, and park in West Lot No. 3. If inclement weather occurs, the ceremony will be held in Tudor Fieldhouse.
The Rice tennis teams have produced 24 All-Americans and have won a combined 14 conference championships. The women's team reached the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2012 and is currently ranked No. 20 nationally.
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