By Sue Ellen Woodcock
Tennis courts have been on a lot of people’s minds lately and Tuesday night the topic came up again, this time members of the Winthrop High School tennis players and their coaches weighed-in.
About 20 tennis enthusiasts filled the Harvey Hearing Room in front of the Town Council and made a plea to keep the Wallace McLean Tennis Courts where they are at the new high school.
The tennis court job already went out to bid and was awarded. The low bidder for the project, which also includes a street hockey pad and a parking lot where the old courts are, is Quirk Construction, of Georgetown, which came in with a bid of $380,000. Some work has begun at Ingleside Park.
There was also concern that there would not be four courts all next to each other, that there would be two and then another two behind that.
Girl’s tennis coach Ken Hodgkins said that configuration makes it hard to coach and to keep an eye on all of his players.
“Its an injustice to put the courts at the park,” said former high school principal and tennis aficionado/coach John Domenico. He added that the courts already there are destroyed, especially from rollerblading, which leaves an indentation where the wheels travel. He also noted the distractions at the park that impede play.
The shortage of tennis courts is also a concern. With losing two courts to the move there could be come who can’t get a court, especially in the fall and the spring when both high school teams, with over 40 players, play and practice.
The other huge issue is bathrooms. There are port-a-potties but no one wants use them to go to the bathroom or to change clothing, and they don’t know what a visiting team would think.
The tennis courts are being moved from the high school to increase parking around the new school. Police Chief Terence Delehanty, who serves on the traffic committee TSAC, said they have held five months of hearings for the parking. While several said the parking spots aren’t need, Delehanty insisted it would address complaints from neighbors, the senior center and others. His concern is when the school holds multiple events along with sports at the baseball field and Miller Field.