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Texas will build 12-court tennis center in East Austin

Constructing the new tennis facility is just the first of many changes coming to Texas athletics.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Longhorns athletics director Steve Patterson has found a future home for the tennis program, as school officials revealed plans to build a 12-court tennis center in East Austin.

Subject to approval from the Board of Regents, the new facility would replace the current University of Texas Press and University of Texas Printing building directly north of UFCU Dish-Falk Field between the I-35 frontage road and Comal Street.

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It will be part of an East Campus project estimated to cost around $166 million before relocation costs for UT Press and Printing that will also include graduate student housing and a parking garage.

The need for a new tennis facility is the result of changes to the University of Texas campus forced by Dell Medical School construction. To make room for those facilities, the Pennick-Allison tennis center was demolished last year, forcing Texas tennis to play matches in multiple other venues, including at the Whitaker courts on 51st Street by the intramural fields.

Ultimately, Patterson didn't want to upgrade the Whitaker courts.

"For our students, time is the most precious commodity," said Patterson. "Trying to commute up and back in traffic every day was sub-optimal."

Finding the new location for the tennis facility is only one of the major upcoming changes forced by the Dell Medical School construction in coming years, including the ultimate demolition of the Erwin Center, which houses the basketball practice facility next door. In addition, the medical school will force the construction of new football practice facilities, while Dell Medical School master plans also show a new south end zone for Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, which would likely result in the construction of new football offices by tearing down the Moncrief Neuhaus athletic center.