It is hard to imagine the construction of a building having any more impact on a sports program than the sparkling new Lichtenberg Tennis Center has had on the Army tennis teams.
The seven-court arena, which was completed in time for Army's 1999 winter/spring season, features a sophisticated synthetic indoor hardcourt surface, state-of-the-art lighting, locker facilities, coaches' offices and meeting rooms, and an elevated spectator area that gives Army tennis fans a birds-eye view of all seven courts.
Through the generosity of Herb (USMA '55) and Alan (USMA '51) Lichtenberg and the Class of 1955, Army's men's and women's tennis teams now call home one of the finest indoor tennis facilities in the nation.
The addition of the Lichtenberg Tennis Center has made tennis a year-round sport at West Point and has rendered the Northeast's typically unpredictable spring weather a non-factor. In the past, Army teams were forced to travel as far as 15 miles to play in an indoor facility that was not only costly but contained an insufficient number of courts. No longer. In 2000 the Army men's team opens its home schedule on Feb. 5, with the women's squad debuting a week later.
"No college in the country has a comparable facility to what we have," says head men's tennis coach Jim Poling. "It makes a statement to every person that visits West Point about Army's commitment to its tennis programs."
"I think it gives us a big psychological advantage on our opponents," adds Army women's tennis coach Paul Peck. "When the other team walks in they know they are standing in the best college tennis facility that they have ever been in. The building is just unbelievable. It shows our athletes and our recruits that the Academy is serious about having a quality tennis program."
Constructed by Indoor Courts of America of Olathe, Kan., the Lichtenburg Tennis Center is an excellent complement to the outdoor Clinton Courts. Army boasts 13 outdoor courts, four of which were renovated and resurfaced in the summer of 1999.
With two sparkling facilities, the Army tennis teams have been able to better recruit top scholar-athletes, as well as host prestigious championship tournaments at the league and NCAA levels.