Islanders Pavilion and Courts Dedicated in Downtown Corpus Christi

By Michelle Villarreal Leschper | Published: April 26, 2019

Islanders Pavilion and Courts Dedicated in Downtown Corpus Christi

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The hometown of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is one step closer to becoming a true college town. On Wednesday, April 24, the Islander community, City of Corpus Christi officials, and the public dedicated the opening of the new Islanders Pavilion and Courts with a ribbon-cutting at The Water’s Edge park in the downtown area.

“We’re raising our profile downtown and this is a great spot for it, right on the beach where locals and tourists spend time,” Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Athletic Director Jon Palumbo said. “It’s a gathering point for people to see the Islanders are here, and all are welcome to come join us.”

The grand opening started with a demo on the new courts featuring the Islander beach volleyball team, which won 14 matches this season. The four courts are located on McGee Beach with two additional courts to be installed by the 2019-2020 academic year. The basketball courts, which are adjacent to the park’s playground, is a standard 7,000-square-foot court and ready for community pick-up games.  

Head Beach Volleyball Coach Gayle Stammer said she is incredibly proud of the beach volleyball team’s season and their grit and resilience pushed them to second place at the Southland Conference Showcase.

“We have come a long way and have so much more growth ahead of us,” Stammer said.

In April 2020, A&M-Corpus Christi is scheduled to host the first NCAA Division I Southland Conference beach volleyball championship.

“This is a great opportunity for us to perform in front of our community and leave the nets up during the summer for everyone to enjoy,” Stammer said. 

Along with the park’s 30 acres, dog park, food truck court, fitness area, and playground, the new facilities will bring increased foot traffic to The Water’s Edge. The public will enjoy the pavilion and courts when they watch their children play in beach volleyball tournaments or participate in basketball clinics. The quality and uniqueness of the beach volleyball courts will attract regional and national level tournaments to compete in Corpus Christi, Palumbo said.

“This is what beach volleyball really looks like,” City of Corpus Christi Mayor Joe McComb said. “When the University isn’t using it, the public will really enjoy it. There are more and more people in the community following the Islanders. It’s the atmosphere, the attitude, and the pride.”

The Islanders Pavilion and Courts were made possible through a significant donation from Fulton*Coastcon General Contractors and are now a staple in Corpus Christi’s downtown area as A&M-Corpus Christi strives to connect nearly 12,000 students and more than 50,000 alumni with the community. 

“Students from across the nation are going to see the unique offerings of the University and community,” A&M-Corpus Christi President and CEO Dr. Kelly M. Quintanilla said. “They will want to go to school and live here to take advantage of our coastal resources and incredible career opportunities."