Weddington opens to community


A neighbor hits a golf ball on the driving range at the Weddington property. The facilities are now open to all community members. Students and faculty can swipe their school ID card to use the golf and tennis courts during the day. Credit: Kaitlin Musante/Chronicle

Kaitlin Musante

Weddington Golf & Tennis facilities are now open for student and employee use free of charge after the school officially closed escrow on the property in early January.

The facilities, which include tennis courts and a driving range, were purchased in October with the intention of building a Community Athletics Center, putting plans to build a new parking structure on hold following complaints from neighbors.

In an effort to bridge the gap between the communities, students and neighbors are welcome to use the facilities, President Rick Commons said.

“The principle that we are trying to pursue long-term is sharing the property that we own with the community at large, Studio City, and the community at Harvard-Westlake, and this seemed like a great way to continue that sharing,” Commons said.

In order to promote further communication with the neighborhood, Commons said that the school has hosted a series of meetings with Studio City residents since escrow closed. He plans to provide more opportunities for neighbors to share their thoughts before making any decisions about the new athletics center.

“We really want to make sure that as we develop plans, we are doing so with the full understanding of what the community is interested in, which doesn’t mean that everything that the community asks for will be granted in the final analysis, but it will certainly be considered,” Commons said. “We want the community to be happy.”

Weddington golf instructor Keith Roberts said that although there have been rumors throughout the community about the school restricting public access following the purchase, which caused some concern, the relationship between neighbors and students has been amiable overall.

“[Weddington] is a melting pot for the community and the transition [to Harvard-Westlake ownership] has been really great overall,” Roberts said.

Students and faculty also said that they feel they have been able to foster a positive relationship with neighbors and appreciate the free access to the facilities.

“I have played [at Weddington] for 11 years, so it’s been convenient having free access because those are my local courts,” Grace Swift ’19 said. “I know all the people who work and play there so my interactions with them are friendly.”