Bangor High School’s new tennis courts could be finished around this time next year, according to Bangor High athletic director Steve Vanidestine.
The four courts next to the high school will be replaced by a six-court facility that will be lit for the first time.
The old courts were demolished and the foundations were built. The rest of the first phase, including the electrical work, will be finished by the end of September, Vanidestine said, and construction will continue into the spring.
Vanidestine said the old courts had cracks that they had repaired several times over the years, but had never replaced the courts until now.
But they recently suffered major cracks requiring them to play all of their games on the road last spring. And with construction underway, there won’t be any home games this spring either.
“With four courts and no lights, we struggled to finish games in the spring, especially if we had problems with bad weather or darkness,” Vanidestine explained. “If you had teams coming from places like Lewiston, you needed extra courts and lights.”
This would ensure that these teams would return home at a decent hour.
Vanidestine said the cost for the entire project will be around $1 million and it will come from the city budget and the school department.
In addition to tennis, the courts will also be used for one of the fastest growing sports in the country: pickleball.
Bangor’s physical education classes used the old courts for both sports.
Vanidestine said the new courts and lights will serve the community as well as the school, and they will leave the lights on at night so they can be used.
They will have bleachers and there will be parking available, so Vanidestine said they will be able to host regional or national events if the Maine Principals Association calls on them.
Vanidestine said they will compete phase two after phase one is completed.
He said he would also like to be able to build a building there with rest rooms because on the land near the tennis courts is also the softball field, the field hockey field, the practice football field and the soccer field.
The football, field hockey and soccer teams will play virtually all of their games on the new artificial turf pitch at Cameron Stadium behind Cohen Middle School on Garland Street. They are also practicing there this summer and will have a few practices there during the school year.
A new eight-lane track that circles the grounds has also been constructed.