A grassroots effort in the city of Plymouth to replace the tennis courts in Centennial Park is gaining traction, as the common council this week pledged $750,000 to the project. Michael Hite, park superintendent, told WKVI that the group pushing for the new courts is composed of former tennis players from Plymouth High School who have been investigating the possibility of building new tennis courts to replace the current 40-year-old tennis courts that are located in a floodway.
The group is trying to develop a cooperative effort between the city of Plymouth, Plymouth Community Schools and private donors to come up with funds to build the new courts, the cost of which is estimated between $1.7 million and $2.2 million.
“They did come to city council and showed their plan, the need for the new facility, the different locations that they have looked at for the new facility. They also came to the park board and the park board agreed on a site which is located in the back of the park here at Centennial Park. They asked the city council for their approval of the concept and some type of monetary pledge, if you will, and they came up with $750,000,” Hite explained.
The group, Hite said, is still trying to secure funds for the project. Currently, the city is the only entity that has pledged an amount, but they are still hopeful for pledges from private donors who are waiting to see how much support the project can gain from the city and schools.
“Right now, they’re basically at stage one of the fundraising or the fund securing. With that $750,000, that’s the only concrete thing they have right now. The project itself is going to run anywhere from $1.7 to $2.2 million, so they have a ways to go. They’re going to look for a cooperative effort again through private donations to make up that gap along with Plymouth Community Schools possibly giving some funds towards the project also,” Hite said.
Hite said the group has been working closely with Blueberry Festival committee members to come up with the best plan. He said there will certainly be a need for further planning and adjustments to accommodate both the new courts and the Blueberry Festival, but they’re going to try to do it as smoothly as possible.