If you’ve driven past Seymour High School’s tennis courts recently, you might have noticed some changes.
Four of the school’s 10 courts have had a major makeover and now sport purple instead of red playing areas.
But best of all is the fact players no longer have to worry about tripping and falling over large cracks that have developed over the years. The school spent $82,452 to make the repairs.
To add to the project, the city of Seymour donated 20 park benches for players to sit on and rest during matches. The benches had been downtown, but the city has replaced them with new ones.
School board trustees decided in June to close the four east courts because they posed a safety hazard to players.
Although the other six courts are in need of repairs, too, they weren’t in as bad of shape as the four east courts, and the school didn’t have enough funds to do them all.
The other six courts will be repaired next year at a cost of around $124,000.
Besides high school and middle school matches in the fall and spring, the courts also are used for youth programs and summer camps and are open to the public. Since there are no public tennis courts available in city parks, the high school’s courts are used frequently.
Girls tennis coach Jennifer Miller said she was glad to see the school board take action on the matter so all 10 courts are now playable.
“They look really good,” she said of the renovated courts. “It will be really nice when they are all done.”
Miller spoke to school board trustees at their July meeting and asked the board to fix and reopen the damaged courts as soon as possible.
Trustees had even discussed the option of taking out the courts for a possible building expansion in the future.
Miller said all 10 courts are used and have been experiencing issues with cracks for the past four years. She said with four courts closed, it makes it difficult to coordinate all of the matches going on.
“We used to host the girls regional, and the regional was moved to Bloomington,” she said. “It would be nice to have 10 courts that are reliable and in good condition so that maybe we can push to get that regional back.”
With more kids starting to play tennis in middle school and with the success the high school teams have had, Miller said it’s important for the school to support the program.
The only fundraiser the tennis program has is its Seymour Smash tennis tournament in October, Miller said. The program does not rely on the school to purchase anything other than some of the equipment.
“Not all schools are as fortunate as we are to have that many courts,” she said. “A lot of schools are dealing with five or six courts.”