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Tennis courts are first step in revitalizing city parks

June 10, 2011

The basketball court at Zuber Park received a face lift earlier this week. It’s one of the many rebuilding projects going on by the Parks and Recreation Department

In case you didn't notice , the West Point Parks and Recreation Department have started a transformation for all city parks in a new effort to bring more energy, and athletes back to the local parks and it started with the tennis courts.

Local leaders and tennis enthusiasts couldn't decide on whether to expand the courts or not.

Parks director James Crowley says it was a project he wanted to take on when he took the job about five years ago.

“A lot of people have wanted bigger courts, a lot of people have wanted more courts, but the bottom line is we all know that the economy is tough, so I think where we met in the middle is reviving what we have,” Crowley said in a previous story.

Work began May 24 at the public tennis courts at the West Point Fairgrounds with the Water and Light Department fixing the lights before the courts were renovated after being resurfaced and a new fence was erected around them.

Crowley says the financial process took about a year to get going, but he was happy the the Board of Mayor and Selectmen were able to find some money to get the ball rolling.

“The first step is getting these back done like we have,” Crowley said. “And then we can start doing camps and some tournaments and getting people to come out to show that we need the other six courts. This is the first stage in all of our parks, but it's a big step for our department.

So far the department already has three tennis camps lined up to take place at the new courts. One had to be postponed this week because of renovation. Nonetheless, Crowley says there is excitement buzzing around.

“There are a lot of people enthused about it,” he said. “It's not going to take us long. It was just a matter of getting those courts done.”

Earlier this week, the basketball court at Zuber Park was freshly resurfaced and already there are kids playing on it.

Crowley said the projects wont stop at the tennis courts. Plans are in the works to add some soccer fields at the complex, due to the growing popularity of the youth soccer league. There were plans to build them when the complex was initially created, but they were put on hold. Those fields Crowley said could also be used to play football on.

“We just want to continue to pump life back into these parks, even the smaller ones,” he said. “Once we do that, that can open a lot of possibilities for the future of this department.”

Although the department doesn't have a lot of money, they make it a point to try and save what they can by using in house labor and work with other departments within the city without having to outsource. However, if in the future they decide to build a gym, then they may have to look for other ways to fund those projects.

Crowley says he wants as much community input as possible and reminds residents that if you have an idea on how to build the program or any other matter, to contact them at 494-3214.

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