New tennis center serves Annie Wright students


The new Galbraith tennis center offers six new indoor courts.

Kaitlin Tan

Annie Wright has partnered up with the United States Tennis Association to present the city of Tacoma with a newly renovated tennis facility.

Galbraith Tennis Center, previously Bally Total Fitness, is a public facility that offers six newly resurfaced indoor courts, livestream court footage, a tennis pro-shop, and competitive programs and instruction for adults and kids of all skill levels.

To create Galbraith Tennis Center, Annie Wright teamed up with the USTA, a national, non-profit governing body for tennis in the U.S. that promotes the development and growth of tennis ranging from the grassroots level to the professional level.

According to Head of Schools Christian Sullivan, the tennis facility has been part of a three-year plan. “I realized some time ago that it probably was not a long term proposition for [the school] to be at TLTC and that we would have to find somewhere else,” he said. After looking around at different options for years, he was contacted by the current owner of Galbraith Tennis Center, who asked the school if they would be willing to be a tenant of the USTA.

Sullivan admitted that the process of creating the tennis facility was rather challenging as it was “pretty long and drawn out.” He mentioned that there were some complications with the building and a difficult new owner, but said he chooses to take an optimistic and progressive view of the situation as the school will be at Galbraith for 15 years because of the 15-year contract with the facility.

With the new tennis facility, the school is no longer utilizing Tacoma Lawn Tennis Club (TLTC), a private tennis club within a short walk of the school. Prior to the renovation of the the tennis center, Annie Wright had been seasonally renting out the tennis courts at TLTC for Middle and Upper School tennis.

As membership grew, however, it became increasingly hard for Annie Wright to rent out tennis courts, and the school was gradually getting less and less time on the courts, which was when Sullivan decided that if the school “wanted to continue tennis at Annie Wright, we would have to find somewhere else to do it.”

As for the outlook of Galbraith Tennis Center, Director of Tennis Nate Jones’s hope is “just trying to make opportunities for the entire community – making sure that if anyone wants to play, no matter [what] level, [they can].” He said that he believes that the facility is purely community-based, as the center is not only good for Annie Wright, but “good for Tacoma in general.”

Jones’s wish for the facility is to grow the game of tennis, as the center is the the only public tennis facility in Tacoma, which he considers “pretty sad, [especially] for the number of people in Tacoma.”

According to Jones, the center was originally scheduled to open in January of 2018. However there was a structural complication: the last court of the facility was only 2-3 feet away from the wall. Though this proved not to be a problem for training purposes, the goal was to hold tournaments at Galbraith Tennis Center and have it be a club for tennis in the Pacific Northwest. This delayed the opening of the facility for 6 months.

For more information about Galbraith Tennis Center: