Tennis organizers hope for volley of funds for new courts in Hudson

by Tim Troglen | reporter Published:

Hudson -- Organizers are hoping the community will support a proposed Hudson community tennis center, like it has supported past athletic projects, to replace the current courts which were built in 1991.

Members of the community tennis center committee have begun fundraising for the project which will cost about $1.03 million to: rebuild the existing six courts; add an additional four courts; add bleachers and add pavilion and lighting.

The project would be completed in two phases, according to the Hudson School district. When completed, the center would contain 10 lighted courts, bleachers and a pavilion.

The outdoor facility would replace the existing six courts at Hudson High School. The facility is part of the Hudson City School District Master Plan for Athletic Facilities.

The tennis facility committee, formed in 2012, is co-chaired by Tom Tobin and Hugo Sandberg. The project would be constructed in phases as funds become available, according to Sandberg. Phase I, which will cost an estimated $280,000, is planned to begin this summer if funded and will consist of rebuilding the existing six courts and reconfiguring storm water drainage.

The committee has commitments from a variety of donors for approximately half of the needed funds for Phase I.

"But we need to raise the remainder in May, in order for Phase I to proceed," Tobin added.

Phase II, depending on funding, is scheduled for next summer and would cost about $750,000. Phase II would consist of: adding four additional courts; building a pavilion, and installing lights.

"Once completed, we are confident this will be one of the nicest outdoor tennis facilities in Northeast Ohio and beyond," Sandberg said.

The district is supporting the project.

The district has a responsibility to provide safe courts for their students, Superintendent Phil Herman told the Board of Education at its April 28 meeting.

Herman said he may ask the Board to earmark $80,000 for the community tennis center project. According to Herman, it would cost the district $80,000 to repair the existing courts, even if there were not plans for a community tennis center.

The courts are the only public courts in Hudson and are used by the high school tennis teams.

Organizers said they hope the proposed facility will expand opportunities for play by school teams, HCER programming and the community as well as allow Hudson to compete to host high school playoff and conference tournaments and USTA special events and tournaments.

"As a city, Hudson lags behind neighboring communities in terms of tennis offerings," Sandberg said. "Most other communities have multiple sites for courts as well as courts with lights for evening play."

New technology in court lighting would enable the courts to be lit with a minimum of impact on surrounding areas, Sandberg added.

"Although the courts have been resurfaced several times, they are in bad shape with significant cracks on all of the courts," he said.

Cash and in-kind donations are welcome and all donations are tax deductible.

Checks may be made payable to Hudson City Schools, and sent to the Treasurer's Office at 2386 Hudson-Aurora Road. Organizers ask that "Tennis Project" be placed in the memo line.

The project also is eligible for most employee matching gift programs.

For additional information visit the Hudson City Schools website at www.hudson.edu and click on the tennis link or contact Sandberg at 330-388-3480 or Tobin at 330-655-7552.

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