Cheers and chants were seen and heard at the opening of the new Eau Claire YMCA's John and Fay Menard Tennis Center on Wednesday.
The 60,000 square foot tennis center by Carson Park is officially open after John and Fay Menard dedicated the facility at an organized ribbon cutting.
The Menards also gave the inaugural serve at Eau Claire's newest activities center.
"During the construction phase, when it was kind of dingy and dark and then to come in here today and see the finished project. The colors are beautiful, the lighting is beautiful, the building has this open expansive feeling to it you just go wow, this is neat," John Menard said.
YMCA staff said the organization has served the Eau Claire community for almost 140 years and the new tennis center is an added bonus for community members.
"It's really nice to have a state-of-the-art first-class facility that everybody can enjoy. The young people coming up can learn more about the sport and just about being more recreational oriented," Menard added.
Events are already scheduled at the facility with the first tennis tournament taking place this coming weekend.
"We've been waiting for this moment for what seems like to be forever," Fay Menard said.
John Menard said told News 18 tennis is a sport anyone can ace and enjoy playing.
"You don't have to be good at all. I mean, I'm living proof of that," he chuckled.
"You just have to be able to run around and relax. The idea is to hit the ball over the net and to have fun," Menard said.
He hopes people of all abilities and ages use the new courts and have a racket of a good time.
"Don't be afraid, just come on out and have some fun," Menard said.
Organizers said they tried to use as many local products and businesses as possible. The project was coordinated by Dell Construction, a 53-year-old family owned business out of the Chippewa Valley.
The materials including steel panels which were used to create walls in the facility which are nearly 4,000 miles long, were also made locally at Midwest Manufacturing.
The collaborative project between local companies and organizations has high expectations to serve the Eau Claire community and tennis enthusiasts for years to come.