Thanks to community foundations, private businesses and tennis enthusiasts, some of the city’s infrastructure is undergoing a major upgrade.
In just a few weeks, Burlington residents will be able to play on the newly redesigned tennis courts at Dankwardt Park.
“The courts are constantly in use and needed to be updated,” said Brian Japsen, who organized the fundraising effort.
Japsen said he grew up playing baseball and basketball, but learned to love tennis as soon as he got a racket in his hand. Since then Japsen has been playing tennis and now has a niece and nephew who also play the sport.
Despite being city property, the city has spent no money resurfacing the courts, thanks to the fundraising efforts of Japsen and several donors. Donors include the Starker Memorial Fund, the John and Judy Arledge Charitable Foundation, the Harry and Virginia Murray Foundation, and the Burlington Tennis Association.
Japsen said private companies and individuals also helped raise funds, which raised $ 185,000 for the project.
Burlington City Councilor Matt Rinker said the courts wouldn’t have been remade without the tennis club’s donation. Instead, the city reportedly opted for a cheaper but not as sustainable method of rehabilitating the courts.
“We would have done it eventually,” said Burlington Mayor Jon Billups.
In addition to community members, the courts are also used by high school tennis teams in Burlington and Notre Dame. The teams work together to plan practices and meetings.
Parks and Development Director Eric Tysland said the total cost of court resurfacing was $ 182,100 and the project was being completed by All Weather Courts, an Illinois-based company. .
“It’s great to see public-private partnerships,” Tysland said of the donations.
Work on the courts should be completed by the end of the month. In the meantime, those who want to play racket can head to Perkins Park, which has a tennis court and two pickleball courts.