Sports

Tennis Club in need of 20K to salvage courts

By Brian Oliver, The Graphic

Cracks continue to grow on the surface of the Island Park tennis courts, and have even reached the actual playing surface. (Brian Oliver/The Graphic)

Cracks continue to grow on the surface of the Island Park tennis courts, and have even reached the actual playing surface. (Brian Oliver/The Graphic)

The city’s lone tennis facility is in need of a makeover.

Standing water on the courts and surface cracks are just some of the issues plaguing the Island Park tennis courts – and the longer it’s left untreated the steeper the bill will climb. The Portage Tennis Club has already received a $10,000 donation from the Portage Rotary Club but is still in need of $20,000 to complete the job.

“Cracks are starting to form and those cracks are getting bigger every year and water is sitting on the court instead of running off,” said Travis Foster, the club’s treasurer. “Part of that $30,000 is fixing those problems first before the top gets (resurfaced).”

The facility received a complete overhaul around the year 2000 that saw the courts dug down to the dirt and a new foundation poured – a job that cost well into the hundreds of thousands and also marks the last time the courts saw any TLC. According to council the tennis club is speaking with throughout this resurfacing process, it’s recommended to have the court’s surface redone every five to six years. 

The club has several grant applications out in an effort to come up with the remaining sum, but cannot proceed with court touch ups until they get that money.

“Whether we get (these grants) or not, we’ll just keep working with different organizations to see if we can get this done,” said Foster. “Obviously we’re not going to be able to (redo the surface every five years), but its been about 17 years. We’re at a point where we either have to get this done or (the courts) are going to get worse to the point where we can’t fix it and it’s going to be an even larger bill.”

The club hopes to have the funds in order to get the job done this summer but can put it off until next season if absolutely necessary.

“The courts are one of those last remaining things that are free to use,” he added. “There’s not a night you go by that they’re not being used in the summer time. It’s free recreation that’s there to use as long as you’ve got a racquet and a ball - there are not too many things left like that.”



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