What started as a work day in the spring of 2013 has come to completion in the fall of the same year. The tennis/basketball courts next to the Willow Grove Avenue Gate House have been refinished and are now available for student, faculty, and staff use!
From David Feister, Student Association President The tennis/basketball court project has been something that Jayne Clark [associate dean of students] and others have had on their radar for a long time, and she had brought it up as a suggestion last year. Because it was such a major project and we had such limited time, the topic was tabled. But the current Student Association officers inherited a surplus of funds from past years, so we have been discussing ways to utilize it in a way that would benefit the campus.
There was also a number of students who brought new energy into the discussion of renovating the tennis courts. So after gauging interest, holding a forum for discussing tennis court renovation, and a lot of discussion and work behind the scenes between Jayne, Phil Walden [physical plant technician], and myself, the Student Association voted to allocate $8,000 of our surplus to the project in the event that it could be matched by other sources. Within a few hours Jayne had secured matching pledges!
Phil continued the work of getting quotes and securing a contract. And since he discovered that we could save $2000-3000 by cleaning out the cracks and digging out the dirt and leaves around the perimeter ourselves, SA organized 3 different student work days to accomplish that job. We had three different options: One was very cheap but would only last a couple years before pulling apart and cracking again, the second was a middle-range option that should last for over 20 years (and more with maintenance), and the third was a much more expensive option with a different material. We chose to pursue the middle option because if we were going to spend money and effort to renovate the courts we wanted them to last for a long time, but because it will be for recreational purposes, a professional level court is not necessary.
We hope these new courts will both be a service to the student body and their families by making the campus more of a place to fellowship and enjoy recreational activity. We also hope it helps to give a positive impression to guests and prospective students as they tour the campus, observing both the facilities and the student life.
See below for a photo slideshow highlighting the transformation of the tennis courts.