Tennis anyone? Plym Park’s courts being rehabbed

Published 7:41 pm Wednesday, July 14, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Tennis anyone?
That may be a phrase heard a little more often in Niles near the end of the summer.
That is when a major renovation project at the Plym Park tennis courts will be wrapping up to provide the community with eight new and improved courts.
The $81,300 project, which began last week, involves totally replacing the four north courts and painting and sealing the cracks of the four south courts.
While the north courts have undergone repairs and resurfacing projects over the years, Coulston said it has had the same basic foundation since 1930s or 1940s.
The south courts were put in 1992 and are still relatively new.
He said the north courts were in very bad shape and practically unusable. "You could almost lose your ball in the cracks, they were getting so big," Coulston said.
The Brandywine High School tennis team uses the courts for practices, and it got to the point where it could no longer use the north courts at all.
And with other options considered, the new courts almost did not happen. Coulston said the city also looked at the options of removing the north courts and not replacing them at all or replacing the courts with a parking lot.
He said the parks and recreation board, who voted unanimously to make the improvements, deserves the credit for restoring quality tennis courts to the city. "My decision would have probably been a parking lot, which would have been the wrong decision," Coulston said.
The project will cost the parks and recreation department about $81,300, $76,000 of which is coming from a special tennis courts fund.
The fund, which was established by the late Phil VanDenBerg, has set aside about $10,000 each year for the past eight years. VanDenBerg was a former parks and recreation board chairman and a big tennis fan, Coulston said.
The target date to finish construction is Aug. 13, so the courts should see some use late this summer.