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Park Board to scrap tennis courts at Bicentennial Park

VALPARAISO — Rather than spend $150,000 to $170,000 to repair the tennis courts at Bicentennial Park, the Park Board has decided to pursue three other projects that cost roughly the same amount.

The parks department has been improving Bicentennial over a three-year period, starting last year by improving drainage and eventually ending up with new ball fields.

Parks Superintendent John Seibert said that on Tuesday the board considered not just the cost but the tennis court’s proximity to Valparaiso High School, which opens its tennis courts to the public.

“We’re not eliminating a tennis opportunity,” Seibert said.

It’s 1.4 miles by automobile from Bicentennial to the high school courts, a three-minute drive according to online driving instructions, he said.

The high school courts are also accessible by the city’s pathways network, a series of paved walking and biking paths.

For the money it would cost for renovation of the courts, the parks department can replace the equipment, add more remote parking and resurface some hard-surface play areas.

That won’t happen this year.

“We don’t really have the funds at this time,” he said.

It will cost $20,000 to remove the courts, fences and all, that Seibert said are in “total disrepair.”

“We had to make a decision now to take care of it,” he said.

Also on Tuesday, the board approved using up to $93,000 in impact fee money to complete the pathway along Campbell Street.

The pathway already connects Ogden Park and Ben Franklin Middle School, and the final leg of it will go from Chestnut Street south to Lincolnway.

The board also approved hiring low bidder Rieth-Riley Construction Co. to resurface and widen the three-quarter mile oval track sat Old Fairgrounds Park.

They were the low-bid contractor at $93,675.

The work includes resurfacing connecting paths, and the track will expand from 6 to 8 feet wide.

Seibert said it would be done in phases, and workers will avoid disruptions.



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