The Plymouth School Board is moving ahead with their support of efforts to construct new tennis courts in Centennial Park. During the June 3 meeting of the Board, the members voted unanimously to pass a resolution to contribute to the proposed construction.

The schools have had long-standing practice of leasing facilities within the park for use of PCSC (Plymouth Community School Corporation) students in competition events and physical education classes. It was noted in the resolution that the tennis facilities provide recreational offerings to students, staff, and alumni outside of the regular school hours as it is for public use.

The Board entertained comments over a year and a half ago from Sarah Smith, Dawn Everidge, and Betsy Bieberstedt, representing the concerns of a private organization of the deteriorated condition the current tennis courts. That organization has already begun fundraising efforts to fund the proposed project. According to Smith, dialogue concerning the possibility of new courts began in 2010.

When contacted after the June 3 Board meeting, Smith said, “This is an opportunity that comes along once every 50 years or so to have a Class A facility.” Smith said the City of Plymouth has committed $750,000 towards the project and private and business donations have reached the $150,000 mark. Early estimates of the cost of the project are $1.7 million.

PCSC has identified funds within their budget which could be applied towards the cost of the project.

The PCSC resolution means that they will set aside $250,000 from the corporation’s Capital Projects Fund with the intent to contribute to the project. The set-aside funds will be paid directly to the City of Plymouth though a lease agreement. However, the designated funds will not be released until there is an amendment to the current lease agreement to be negotiated with the City. Further, none of the funds will be paid until the City of Plymouth can demonstrate a final commitment to the construction of the new tennis facilities.

Carol Anders Correspondent