PEORIA – Richwoods boys and girls tennis coach Terry Cole can’t wait for a new complex to be completed at the school.
But he will have to do it – if only a little longer.
The $ 995,000 project to build a new school tennis complex has a completion date in late August.
“It’s so exciting,” Cole said. “We can’t wait to get to these courts and start using them. It will be a great setup.”
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Where does the money come from?
The project initially had $ 180,000 on the state’s capital construction bill, with anticipation of more to come. Money was pouring in from the state, so the school district funded the $ 995,000 project from its own capital projects fund, according to Peoria Public Schools spokesperson Thomas Bruch. The money will eventually be replaced when the state building money arrives, he said.
“The Richwoods tennis courts were in dire need of repair,” said Bruch. “We wanted to complete this project in time for the start of the school year and season. It will be a facility that the district and the community can be proud of.”
Why did the courts need to be replaced?
The surfaces of Richwoods’ existing courts were deteriorating, mainly due to a poor drainage system, according to Cole. The courts had been fixed and resurfaced about a decade ago, Cole said, but with drainage issues they have become a lost cause.
The complex of six sites was therefore torn off.
“The new one will be six courts again, but with a new and good drainage system,” said Cole. “And we have three sections of bleacher seats, one for each pair of courts.
“The fence will be lower so the spectators can stand there too. And we’re going to have a new windshield, maybe with our school name on it.”
The project includes new scoring equipment and other items. Construction was delayed this summer in part due to supply issues caused by the pandemic. Demolition at the site began the week before the boys’ spring tennis season opened.
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Where will Richwoods play?
“We were able to practice at the clubs in River City, who have been so generous of them to let us use it,” said Cole. “It was really good for us. We also had practice games at Glen Oak Park.”
The Richwoods women’s team, which is expected to be a locomotive in the region this season, began training this week, back in River City.
The Knights were hoping to open with a big tournament at their new compound, but it will instead be hosted at Dunlap High School while construction continues in Richwoods.
“The people who are paving and sealing on the new courts tell us it takes about 20 days to complete,” said Cole. “We cannot host there yet.
“We can’t wait to get in and start using them. We’re so grateful to have them.”
Dave Eminian is The Journal Star’s sports columnist and covers Bradley’s men’s basketball, the Rivermens and the Chiefs. He writes the sports column Cleve In The Eve for pjstar.com. Contact him at 686-3206 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @icetimecleve.