Rackets are once again swinging at Pine Bluff's Bloom Tennis Center.

The center, located in Central Park at 2101 South Hickory Street in Pine Bluff, has re-opened with resurfaced tennis courts, new bleachers, netting and a renovated building.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Monday morning followed by the first tennis match since the renovations. The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Golden Lions and Lady Lions tennis teams hosted Alcorn State University in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

Larry Matthews, director of the Department of Economic and Community Development, said that the center was previously a parks and recreation facility that had not been used for approximately eight years due to deterioration from a leaking roof, lack of air conditioning and neglect.

“The building was just sitting there, so we used our federal dollars to bring it back to life,” said Matthews, adding that $140,000 was used to renovate and resurface the facility.

Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington thanked everyone for coming out to support the center on Monday.

“I am grateful that each of you have taken the time to be here and to help us put the 'neighbor' back in the 'hood,'” said Washington. “We are going to transform our beloved city with the embrace of love and support so that things can continue to happen, such as the opening of this beautiful facility.”

Trudy Redus, interim director of the Pine Bluff Parks and Recreation Department, announced that a tennis clinic will be held at the center during the Spring break. The times have not yet been announced.

Registration for Summer Tennis Camps will open in April. For more information please contact Parks and Recreation at 870-536-0920 or email Trudy Redus at saracenlanding@att.net.