Tennis Courts Project Makes Progress, Faces Weather Delay

A base layer of asphalt was applied at the Calais Tennis Courts on November 15th as Recreation Director Craig Morrison (left) and Volunteer Coach David Sivret looked on. The finish layer will be applied in the spring. (Photos by Lura Jackson)

By Lura Jackson

 

The base layer of asphalt was laid at the double tennis courts at the Thomas DiCenzo Athletic Complex in Calais on November 15th, signifying an important step in the project to resurface and rehabilitate the badly cracked courts. While Lane Construction performed the laying of the asphalt, it was the students of Washington County Community College that conducted the bulk of the preparatory work in previous weeks. Unfortunately, delays caused by rain and the onset of cold weather have necessitated pushing back the application of the fine-grade finish layer of the surface to springtime. 

“This gives us a good start,” David Sivret, one of the volunteers coordinating the project, said as the base layer was being applied. “It’s a lot further along than we were earlier this spring.”

“In a way, it’s better to do it this way,” added Craig Morrison, Recreation Director for the city. “It will give the base layer time to sit before the finish is applied.”

The students of WCCC’s Heavy Equipment Operation program have been at the site for the past several weeks, sometimes spending two class periods a week to remove the old surfacing and grade the ground in preparation of the new surface. “They did a great job,” Morrison said. “Even the Lane Construction guy said they did a good job with the fine grading.”

Each time the WCCC students were out working on the tennis courts, Grampie Bill’s Place offered them a free lunch in support of the effort. Many of the students took him up on the offer and Sivret and Morrison expressed their appreciation of his donations. 

Having the finish surface applied in the spring will cause a delay for when the courts will be ready to be used by the tennis teams for school matches, Sivret said. As a result, he is planning to propose that the first half of the teams’ games be held at other courts. The Calais teams will be able to use the courts for practice in the springtime; however, as Sivret explained, that basic lines can be drawn on the base layer and a rudimentary net placed in the middle. The third court at the complex, located next to the pool, remains in the same relatively usable condition that it has been in previous years, and will add to the teams’ practice surfaces.

Next year’s teams are shaping up well already, according to Sivret, who acts as a volunteer assistant coach to the teams. “It looks like we’ll have two good teams, including a full boys’ team,” Sivret said. He has been actively recruiting potential candidates by expressing that while students can play basketball and football competitively in high school, tennis is a game that they can play competitively their entire lives.

Once the two courts are finished in the late spring, Sivret anticipates holding adult tennis tournaments for those in the community looking to test their skills.