The wheels have been set in motion for the long-awaited replacement of the lights at the St. Marys Tennis Courts. Next, enthusiasts hope, will be the replacement of the very tired playing surface.
On July 9, Town Council learned that a tendering process was scheduled to begin this month for the replacement of the lights. That work is expected to be completed around the end of August.
Last week, however, a group of local players unofficially launched a campaign to raise support and funds for the replacement of the playing surface.
“There’s a fair number of people who go into Stratford or London to play,” says St. Marys Social Tennis Club member Andrea Macko. That’s because “playability is definitely an issue,” she asserts, on a damaged surface that regularly catches players’ footwear and sends them tumbling.
But the aesthetics are also disappointing, Macko adds, given that so many out-of-town visitors see the poor state of the courts while swimming at the Quarry or strolling the Riverview Walkway.
According to Club member Rob Favacho, the two sections of the courts were installed in 1953 and 1974. Very little work has been done on the surface since.
The group hopes to work with a local service club to apply for a Trillium Foundation grant in November. But in the meantime, they’re hoping the community will also help out.
“People can donate change at the Farmers’ Market this Saturday, and find out more about what we’re up to and about the club in general,” said Macko, who adds that the group hopes to set up shop at other upcoming events in town to spread the message.
The group has obtained informal estimates from reputable firms putting the cost of renewal at approximately $200,000. Rather than remove the existing concrete surface, that would instead involve covering it with four inches of crushed limestone, then asphalt, then a coating of plasticized playing surface. Net posts would also be replaced, as well as some exterior fencing.
Search “St. Marys Social Tennis Club” on Facebook for information about the club, or contact Macko at 519-280-1240. An annual tournament takes place Saturday, Sept. 15.