For a number of years, two of the Gregory Park tennis courts have been deteriorating.
The Brainerd Parks and Recreation Department is in the process of raising funds to resurface the two courts, which are located on the north side of the tennis court complex.
The cost to replace and paint the surface, resurface the practice area and install new fencing is estimated to be $68,000. Youth courts would be blended into the full-size courts.
Grants have been applied for through the United States Tennis Association and the Northern USTA, based out of the Twin Cities. If accepted the USTA grant would cover up to 20 percent of the cost and the Northern USTA Adopt-A-Court grant would cover up to 10 percent of the cost. If both entities award the full amount the total would be about $20,000, leaving $48,000 that the Parks and Recreation Department would require to complete the project.
“The main reason the two tennis courts are cracked is the drainage is poor,” said Brainerd Parks and Recreation Director Tony Sailer. “Whenever there is melting and freezing, it only makes the problem worse.”
If funds can be raised to resurface the courts, they would be raised and sloped to provide adequate drainage similar to the three courts on the south portion of the complex, said Sailer. Also, the practice area surface is uneven and needs to be leveled out and resurfaced.
By blending in youth courts, more opportunities for aspiring tennis players would be provided. Presently, many youths wishing to learn to play tennis need to go to Forestview Middle School in Baxter which has youth courts blended onto the surface.
The Brainerd Park Board has indicated there are Park Dedication Funds available for the project. However, the board directed staff to begin fundraising efforts to help offset the cost.
“If we need to strictly use Park Dedication Funds for the Gregory Park tennis court project, it would put a serious dent in that fund,” said Sailer. “I hope we don’t have to tap out the Park Dedication Fund for one project. It would take a long time to replenish that fund. We have a number of other projects that will soon need to be addressed and about the only way we can move forward with those improvements is by using the Park Dedication Fund.
Persons or organizations wishing to contribute to the Gregory Park tennis court project may make checks payable to: Brainerd Parks and Recreation, 1619 NE Washington St., Brainerd, MN 56401. Please note the checks are for the Gregory Park tennis court project.
For further information please call the Brainerd Parks and Recreation Department at 218-828-2320.