Pleasanton officials and tennis fans celebrated the opening of two new floodlit courts at the town’s Tennis and Community Park last week.
Built in the last half of the year, the effort of nearly $ 1 million brought the park’s number of courts to a dozen, a total envisioned by the city for three decades and officially prioritized by city council in 2014, then put on hold and reconfigured two years ago. after neighbors protested against the original location, they were looking for Courts 11 and 12.
“A lot of us doubted that day of two new courts would ever come, but it did happen, and it was wonderful,” said Councilor Karla Brown, an avid tennis player, in an interview with e-mail Wednesday afternoon.
Brown joined Mayor Jerry Thorne, council members Kathy Narum and Arne Olson and local tennis players earlier that morning for the dedication ceremony at the park at the intersection of Valley Avenue and Hopyard Road .
The two new courts, located at the top of what was once part of a horseshoe-shaped grass area between the two parking lots at Tennis Park, help address the lack of space available for tennis players and to complement the long-term vision for the park, according to city officials.
“Tennis is a very popular sport in Pleasanton with high school and youth competing with adult players and leagues to play on our public courts,” said Brown. “About four years ago, Pleasanton completed a master plan for parks and recreation, making the city’s tennis court shortage a top priority.”
“Now more residents can enjoy the sport played in Pleasanton by tennis players of all ages and skill levels,” she added.
The effort took years to bring the last two tennis courts to the public park at 5801 Valley Ave.
The original 1985 Tennis Park master plan called for 12 tennis courts, but the number had remained at 10 since the mid-1990s. The city’s parks and recreation master plan update in 2014 identified the need. more tennis courts in the city, and the council that year prioritized two more courts at the tennis park and set aside capital improvement program (CIP) funds for the project.
The city had signed a contract for nearly $ 500,000 in June 2016 with a construction company to build the two courts, but those plans were scuttled after community protests over the location of the new courts.
Dozens of residents, many of whom said they had no idea of the expansion until construction fences were put up in the park, opposed the 2016 design, arguing that the new courts would be too close to their home and remove lawns used by the public. They expressed their disapproval during protests at the park in July 2016 and participation in the council chamber.
The council discussed the project and, in December 2016, approved a new placement on the land that offered a lower ranking, a lower price and a location further away from neighboring houses, but still centrally located in the park, compared to the other alternatives presented. The final site removed 16 parking spaces from the park lots as well as six trees, including one designated by the city as a heritage tree.
Council approved the final project costs last May, which were $ 83,000 for design and $ 860,000 for construction – in addition to nearly $ 145,000 in expenses at this point for previous work. of the project, according to city officials.
Construction began at the beginning of last summer.