The replacement of the 24 tennis courts at Conard and Hall High Schools in West Hartford is expected to be approved at the March 31 meeting of the State Bond Commission.
By Ronni Newton
The 25-year-old tennis courts at Conard and Hall High Schools have reached the end of their useful life, and the $3 million replacement cost has been included in the capital improvement plan for fiscal year 2022- 2023, but West Hartford’s legislative delegation announced on Thursday that funding for the project has been added to the agenda for the March 31 State Bond Commission meeting and is expected to be approved.
The 24 tennis courts – 12 in each of the public high schools – are used by Conard and Hall’s girls’ and boys’ tennis teams, other students and are also free and accessible to other members of the community. They also serve as the site for the state high school tennis championship competition.
“The tennis courts have served our entire community well for decades, but time has taken its toll and annual maintenance bills are around $60,000,” Sen. Derek Slap told We. -Ha.com. “I am very pleased that our legislative delegation, working closely with Mayor Cantor, was able to secure this funding for West Harford. Recreation is essential to our physical and mental health – and this funding will allow a generation of students and residents to have great grounds to play on. Of course, residents who never take a racket also benefit as state support saves West Hartford taxpayers more than $3 million.
Governor Ned Lamont, who chairs the State Bond Commission, said: “This state funding will help ensure that these sports facilities in West Hartford remain functional and are able to meet the sporting needs of the community. I am pleased that we are able to unlock these funds and partner with the City of West Hartford on this project. »
The plans — which were developed in collaboration between the city and West Hartford Public Schools — include replacing existing asphalt courts with state-of-the-art tension concrete courts, as well as replacing fences and outer nets. The new courts would have a 20-year warranty against structural cracking, heaving and settling, as well as a 10-year warranty against bubbling and peeling.
Superintendent of Schools Tom Moore, when presenting the capital improvement plan to the Board of Education in January, said the new courts will likely last up to 30 years.
Tension concrete courts are more durable and will also save on maintenance costs. The asphalt dries out and shrinks over time, leading to dangerous cracks, and the city spends about $60,000 a year on resealing and other repairs.
“State sponsorship for the tennis courts at our two public high schools is greatly appreciated and an investment in the health and well-being of our students and our community,” Mayor Shari Cantor said in a statement. . “I want to thank Senator Slap and Governor Lamont for their support of our community and our students. »
“The athletic facilities at Hall and Conard High Schools have been in need of an upgrade for some time now,” state Rep. Tammy Exum said in a statement. “I am proud to have worked alongside my colleagues to help secure the funding and would like to thank Governor Lamont for approving this much needed project.
State Representative Kate Farrar expressed her thanks to the Governor as well as State Representative Dorinda Borer (D-West Haven), who co-chairs the State Bonds Committee, and the entire Connecticut State Bond Commission for their support of a project to provide safe and modern facilities for residents and student-athletes. “This is great news for the health and well-being of our community. I am pleased to have worked alongside city leaders and my colleagues from the West Hartford delegation to secure these funds for our city,” said Farrar.
“I would like to thank the Bond Commission and Governor Lamont for their review of this project. Conard and Hall High School have long awaited an update to their tennis courts,” said state Rep. Jillian Gilchrest. “I hope this passes in the Bond Commission vote and I’m thrilled to see this project get underway so West Hartford students and community members can enjoy this recreational space for years to come.”
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