Renovated Plym tennis courts now open

Published 11:56 pm Friday, August 27, 2004

By By SPIROS GALLOS / Niles Daily Star
NILES - As the summer season winds down with Labor Day a little more than a week away, those looking to get their tennis fix can check out the newly renovated courts at Plym Park.
The eight courts located at Plym Park were opened to the public Wednesday, after just over two months of renovations.
The project replaced the four north courts, while cracks in the south courts were sealed and the courts were painted.
While the north courts had undergone repairs and resurfacing over the years, they had the same basic foundation since the 1930s or 1940s, according to Public Works Director Neil Coulston.
The south courts were put in in 1992 and are still relatively new.
The result of the project is eight identical looking courts which are ready for all the punishment players can dish out.
The $81,300 project was primarily funded by a special parks and recreation department 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, according to Coulston.
Brandywine High School, which used the courts for practice in the past, but did not pay in recent years due to the condition of the courts, will pay the city of Niles a fee for using the new courts for practice and home matches.
The city requested that Brandywine Public Schools pay $1,200 per year for use of the courts for the boys' and girls' tennis teams, but it simply wasn't in the budget this year, Brandywine Public Schools Director of Finance Gus Damaske said.
The school will pay $250 this year for use of the courts, and will most likely pay $1,200 for the 2005-06 school year, when it can be factored into the budget.
Brandywine High School Athletic Director Jim Boger is excited about the completion of the courts for the upcoming school year.
Brandywine High School has not used the tennis courts located at the school since school officials deemed them unplayable about 10 years ago, according to Boger.
The girls' tennis team will host its first home meets for the first time in ten years this season.
The girls' tennis team will also host the Brandywine Invite at the courts Sept. 18, while also utilizing courts at Niles High School.
Other renovations to Plym Park include filling cracks in, double sealing, and re-striping the basketball courts. Those renovations should be done within the next month, Coulston said.