Tennis courts

Downtown tennis courts reopen in Palmer

PALMER, Alaska (KTUU) – Residents of Palmer have likely noticed construction in recent months at the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Gulkana Street as the Bill Hermann Tennis Courts have been torn down and rebuilt.

Mat-Su Tennis Association president Susan Brunner said it has been almost 18 months since the court rehabilitation project began.

“There were courts set up here, you know, in the late 70s or 80s,” Brunner said. “They were in a horrible state.”

According to Brunner, the courts have not been renovated for more than 40 years. Tree growth, divots, and tar-filled cracks were beginning to pose safety concerns.

“The kids were turning their ankles, the ball was hitting the line and the line was flying through the air, so there was never a question of whether the ball was in or out,” Brunner said.

The deteriorated surface of the courts is precisely the reason why, more than a year ago, the Wasilla Sunrise Rotary Club and the Rotary Club of Palmer decided to undertake the complete court reconstruction project. From there, the community began to come together, including a number of grant donations.

“Then Mat-Su Tennis (Association), you know, kind of took the initiative to make it happen,” Brunner recalled. “We got a grant from MEA, we got a grant from Valley Board of Realtors, personal donations. It just started to grow in the community and people said “yes, it’s a good project, we want to be part of it”.

Because the tennis courts are also used by Palmer High School, construction cost contributions were also provided by the City of Palmer and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Friday evening to officially mark the reopening of the courts to the public.

The courts are open every day and are free from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

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