Pauls Valley tennis fans received a winner as a project to completely revamp some local courts.
The actual start of work is not expected to be far, as PV city council members have approved the next step towards the first phase of a full upgrade to the local Wacker Park tennis courts.
It starts with the planned renovation of the four courts on the east side of the park, with the other eight courts just a few yards coming in later.
With most of the cost coming from private funds, the cost of resurfacing the four courts, with new fencing and netting, is around $ 69,000.
Among the interested members of the new Pauls Valley Parks nonprofit who looked for approval at a recent board meeting was Kahn Nirschl.
“We will be putting down their schedule as soon as possible,” Nirschl said of the contractor hired to complete the four-lot portion of the project.
“We hope all four courts on the east side will be completed in time for spring sports. “
The longer-term plan with a much higher price focuses on the eight tennis courts on the west side of the park.
All are described as being in “poor condition” and must be demolished and completely rebuilt with the finished product to one day become legal size courts.
The price tag for this second phase is estimated to be around $ 750,000, which could include new, easier-to-maintain lights for nighttime play.
With this part of the project, plans are to rebuild the new courts without impacting the neighboring Rotary Rose Garden or vehicle traffic around the park.
“When I was in high school we had local tournaments,” Nirschl said.
“We even brought in college teams here. Now these pitches are so bad that it is even difficult for the high school to train there. “
Efforts to raise more money and seek grants will continue to pay for the future eight court project.
Last summer, the project received a boost with the approval of $ 15,000 in local tourism tax funds.
The foundation of the parks is still fairly recent after being formed to start improving local parks.
“The first thing we identified were the tennis courts. It was done in 2016 with Mark Green and a conversation we had with him, ”he said, referring to the Pauls Valley school tennis coach.
“We have been trained to meet many needs that have arisen over the years. “
The group eventually wants to create an endowment fund as a way to maintain local parks in the future.
Nirschl said the group has had “a lot of traction this past year, even with the pandemic.”