WOOSTER — The construction of a dozen tennis courts on the former Wooster Inn site will replace existing dilapidated courts along Beall Avenue, according to the College of Wooster.
Of the 10 existing tennis courts, six are usable, chairwoman Sarah Bolton said at a public forum on Thursday regarding the future of the Wooster Inn court.
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“Even local high school camps are hesitant to use them,” Bolton said at the forum.
If all goes as planned, the 12 tennis courts that will be built on Gasche Street and E. Wayne Avenue will provide more space for women’s and men’s tennis teams to practice, she said.
The college will also be able to host North Coast Athletic Conference games.
Structural damage to current courts
The surface on which students play is deteriorating.
Cracks pass under the nets in the center of the courts. Some cracks are not level, posing tripping hazards.
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These problems are not confined to the surface. The concrete substructure supporting the facility is also deteriorating, Bolton said.
“An entirely new concrete base and courts need to be built,” she said.
Support for these courts was part of the college’s master plan, which prioritized repair and replacement projects.
“These courts have needed addressing for a few years now,” Bolton said.
She said three locations were being considered for the courts, but only the former Wooster Inn site at 880 Wayne Avenue had space for 12 courts.
Construction plans and schedule
If plans are approved by the City of Wooster, the new tennis facility will be located 35 feet from Gasche Street and E. Wayne Avenue, while seven parking spaces will be added, creating a 64-space court.
Construction would begin around June and finish in August or September, said Beau Mastrine, director of facilities budgets and project administration at the college.
Once the courts are paved, Mastrine said, the pavement must rest for 30 days.
“Electrical sockets will be installed around the pitch to charge mobile phones or tablets,” he said. “The only lights will be located in parking lots or on a small dashboard.”
Construction crews could install toilets, but no plans are set in stone for such an addition, Mastrine said.
“We are looking to install sewer lines and water lines on site” in the event the toilet plans are approved, he said.
After construction, crews will plant between 36 and 40 trees and more than 70 shrubs on the property, said grounds manager Phil Olsen.
The trees will range from maples to firs and lilacs, he said. His goal is to replace the trees that once stood on the property and add more.
“Design is dictated by zoning,” Olsen said. “We need to put a certain (number) of seedlings back on the property.”
If all goes according to plan, Olsen said, the tennis courts will open in the spring of 2023.
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