By John Schaffner

The ribbon cutting ceremony Aug. 18 at the new Chastain Park Tennis Center, marked the opening of the city of Atlanta’s first public green building built to Earth Craft standards under the city’s new sustainability program.

The new Tennis Center represents the first of the projects in the Chastain Park Master Plan of improvements to be completed.

The plans for the new tennis center were not universally accepted early on by those in the neighborhood and those who use the facility. However, the 100 or so people who attended the opening ceremony seemed to universally applaud the new cornerstone to the northwest corner of the park at Powers Ferry and Wieuca roads.

As Jim King, president of the Chastain Park Civic Association and Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods, said, “The process is not always smooth in the negotiations. But look at the finished project. I think the product speaks for itself. If we all stick together, in the end you’ll get a project like this.”

Chastain Park Conservancy Board President John O’Neill said, “I haven’t seen anybody shedding tears over that purple building (the former tennis center). Nobody seems too distraught about that.”

O’Neill said the new tennis center “is a milestone for Chastain Park and the city. Hopefully this is the first of many steps to make this a greener park, a more sustainable environment.”

Holding a copy of the Chastain Park Master Plan, O’Neill explained it is “really our strategic plan for setting the vision for the next 20 years on improvements at Chastain Park. This is the first project that was really born with that document.”

O’Neill also said it was the first project that the Conservancy and the Chastain Park Civic Association came together “all for the greater good of Chastain Park. Hopefully it is the first step of many great things to come.”