The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

August 14, 2013

City to resurface Big Spring tennis courts

By Karen Middleton
news@athensnews-courier.com

— Big Spring Park tennis courts are due for resurfacing. Athens City Council members agreed Monday to resurface the courts at a cost of $14,800.

“We try to do this every three to five years,” said Ben Wiley, city parks and recreation director. “You can see cracks where the grass is growing in between. This is really maintenance.”

Wiley said Tuesday that the courts get heavy usage.

“In the mornings, especially, they get heavy use,” said Wiley. “There is this group that kind of takes possession of the courts every morning, weather permitting.”

He said some of the players are senior citizens. But the court is not only for seniors.

“We use the Big Spring Park courts for our tennis lessons,” he said. “This year we had 20 kids to take lessons from tennis pro John Stanford, who said he would be back next May to teach more lessons.”

Wiley said when funds become available, the next tennis courts scheduled for resurfacing are those at Swan Creek Park.

“That would be the south courts at Swan Creek,” he said. “The north set belongs to the high school. The only other tennis courts the city owns are the Lincoln-Bridgeforth courts. But we are in the process of making a decision about those on whether we want to keep them as city courts because they are hardly used.

“I believe — and this is just my opinion — that the land there would be better used as a water park. I’ve spoken to Councilman Jimmy Gill about it, but he says it’s a matter of funding.”

Pro Court Construction of Huntsville will do the resurfacing, which will get underway at the end of this month, Wiley said.