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Teen/Tennis Center Upgrade Passes First Test

Fairfield's teenagers and tennis players alike will have more space to play in 2012, if the rest of the town boards follow the Board of Selectmen's lead. The town's executives approved the new lease with Fairfield Indoor Tennis for the tennis center on Old Dam Road.

As part of the deal, the group will construct a new building for the tennis center, which also houses the Beanery, Fairfield's teen center. In exchange, FIT gets a 20-year lease at a discounted rate. Town attorney Eileen Kennelly said the deal makes the town more money than renovating the old building and charging the old rate. "The town really has no financial exposure on this transaction," Kennelly said.

The new building will be split in half, as it is now. On one side, Fairfield Indoor Tennis will keep its offices and locker rooms. The other will still house the Beanery Teen Center. But the Beanery will have more space in its main hall and a newly revamped game room.

"With this rebuilt facility, the Parks and Rec Department will be able to utilize it more for the teen center," First Selectman Kenneth Flatto said.

Since the town will continue to use the tennis center in the summer, all Fairfield tennis fans will get to use the new locker rooms as well. And as part of its plan, FIT will add a sixth court to the new layout as well as extra parking. Visitors to the par-3 golf course in the area get an advantage as well, as the new lot will move the practice putting green and payment booth across the street, saving a trip across traffic for golfers.

If Fairfield's Representative Town Meeting approves the lease and the new building's design passes the town zoning boards this spring, FIT President Jeff Goche said the construction process would start this summer and be finished by 2012. Although parking may be blocked during construction, Goche said the tennis courts would be open to the town throughout the summer.

Are you looking forward to the changes at the Beanery and the tennis center? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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