(ATLANTIC) Atlantic Park and Recreation Director Roger Herring appeared before the Atlantic School Board Tuesday night to discuss the aging tennis courts at Sunnyside Park.
Herring gave an in-depth presentation on the history of tennis in Atlantic and then showed pictures of the damage on the tennis courts.
“In the aerial views you can see the discoloration of the courts from the top, you can see where there is missing surfacing and the areas that are worn, cracked, worn over and weathered,” explained Herring. “You can see the cracking that is taking place in the surface and the actual surface is being worn off.”
Herring made a request to the Board that the district share 50% of the cost of the reconstruction of the tennis courts. The estimated total cost of the project, after the help of a couple possible grants, would be at $177,015, which means the Atlantic School’s share would be $88,507.
“The facts support the dire need for the reconstruction of the courts at Sunnyside Park,” said Herring. “By reconstructing the courts at Sunnyside it will reestablish Atlantic as a top outdoor facility in Southwest Iowa. Everybody used to want to come to Atlantic to play tennis because number one; we had great facilities, and number two; we are centrally located. It would also put Atlantic back in contention, this is a real key issue, for hosting or getting back on what I term, the tournament trail.”
Herring stated his reason for asking the School Board to share the cost is because there has been a long history of partnerships between the City, Parks and Rec. and the School System, including the summer Rec. programs and when the tennis courts were built at Washington Elementary.
“In 1976 and 1977, the Washington courts were built by the School District with the project cost of around $50,000. The courts were completed and the City of Atlantic, through the request of the Parks Board, paid the school district in August of 1977 $27,879.30 for the use of the courts by the City,” explained Herring.
Herring said the last time that he could find evidence that the courts were refinished was in 1978 and Stuart Dusenberry, President of the Park and Rec. Board and former Tennis Coach, says he thinks they may have been repainted in the late 1980’s. Herring said if the school opts out of sharing the cost the Park and Rec. Department would have to look for other sources to fund the reconstruction and that would significantly delay the project.