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Palm Coast Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022 3 months ago

Belle Terre Swim and Racquet Club's tennis courts to be demolished in March to make way for five portables

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The school district is beginning the process to re-name the facility.
by: Brent Woronoff Staff Writer

The Belle Terre Swim and Racquet Club will be getting a new name.

School district staff is currently calling the site “P73,” which is shorthand for its address: 73 Patricia Drive.

Soon, the current name will no longer apply as the district goes ahead with its plan to transform the site by keeping the pool and gym but demolishing the tennis courts to make room for portables accommodating the school district's TRAIL Transition Program, office space for iFlagler virtual school and eventually the Step Up program.

Dave Freeman, the district’s plant services director, told the School Board at a Jan. 18 workshop that demolition of the tennis courts is tentatively scheduled for March 1.  

“Those using the facility have not had any change to their access. We have been updating them on our demolition schedule. The pool and gym are still not being intruded upon.”

PAUL PEACOCK, Flagler Schools' chief of operations

The pool and gym will continue to be available for members’ use, said Paul Peacock, the district’s chief of operations.

“Those using the facility have not had any change to their access,” Peacock said. “We have been updating them on our demolition schedule. The pool and gym are still not being intruded upon.”

Phase 1 of the project includes removing a portable that is on the site, setting up three new portables for the TRAIL program and two portables for iFlagler offices on the site of the tennis courts. A shade structure will be built over the five portables, and a concrete area for basketball or other activities will be added.

“We did contact our civil engineer using our civil contract,” Freeman said. “We reached out to the City of Palm Coast and brought them into the loop. … We want them to know what our site plan is.”

Freeman said they expect to bring in the new portables sometime in May with the infrastructure scheduled to be in place by then. He said there is an interested party that might be willing to buy the current portable on site.

“We can potentially sell it cheap, and it would beat us having to demo it for $25,000,” he said.

Moving the TRAIL program out of Indian Trails Middle School will open needed classroom space at ITMS ahead of next school year when sixth grade classes will be shifted from elementary to middle schools. With iFlagler offices moving out of Matanzas High School, that space will be converted into classrooms.

Phase 2 of the project, which would include an estimated six portables for Step Up, would begin next year, Freeman said.

“We’re making sure we’re building from the back of the site forward with the Step Up program the final piece of the puzzle,” Peacock said.

Peacock said with the tennis courts soon to be demolished, the process for re-naming the site can begin.

The School Board would ultimately have to approve a new name, Superintendent Cathy Mittelstadt said, but the district can begin the process by forming a committee. The board agreed to get the process started.

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