George W. Davis

GREEN: Team supporter Amy Capeta told the Green Board of Education this week that “the time is now” to move forward with a new tennis court complex for the district.

She said land has been purchased east of the high school and drawings have been completed for six courts —with an option for two more — to meet the needs of the boys and girls high school teams. She also said plans are afoot to start tennis as a middle school activity.

Capeta told the board that the high school teams play and practice at Boettler Park’s four courts. Players must change in public restrooms, and several opponents have refused to play there because at least five courts are needed for varsity matches to be played simultaneously.

“It is very disappointing to tennis-team members, coaches and enthusiasts to see existing facilities for other sports continually expanded and/or upgraded while tennis, for which the school currently provides no facilities, is repeatedly passed over for prioritized consideration and action,” Capeta told the board.

She said her group of committed, passionate parents are willing to help with the work to make the project a reality.

Green, the Suburban League champs this fall, moves to the Federal League next season, and Capeta said she fears that some of those schools also could refuse to play at Boettler Park because of its lack of courts. That could mean more away matches — and more travel costs — to compete, she said.

Julie DeLuca, the girls junior varsity tennis coach who also helps with the boys team, asked what the tennis supporters can do to get new courts.

“We’re perfectly willing to help,” she said, even questioning whether the group could seek private donations.

Board President Bob Campbell told the parents the district is not treating any sport in a lesser way. He said the board is taking a close look at finances and priorities.

“With new administration emphasis, we’re going to get there sooner than later,” he said, adding that there could be a capital campaign to fund various sports’ needs. He said the board might know by January what path will be taken.

Board member Mark Herdlick said consideration is being given to revamping fundraising for the whole district.

Operations Director Wendall Jackson said Tuesday that estimates from two years ago were $275,000 for six courts and $150,000 for lighting. Adding two more courts could take another $110,000 plus $60,000 for lighting, he said.

“These figures could change drastically, up or down, with the addition of other projects,” Jackson said.

George W. Davis can be reached at mediaman@sssnet.com.