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Windsor to renovate tennis, pickleball courts at Wilson Center

Hartford Courant logoHartford Courant 2/8/2023 Steve Smith, Hartford Courant

With the deterioration of the tennis and pickleball courts at the L.P. Wilson Center, in Windsor continuing, the town is dedicating $800,000 of its funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to renovating and adding to the courts.

Currently, there are five tennis courts, and pickleball courts (which are smaller, with similar dimensions) that share the same space, which were first constructed in 1997, and repaired in 2015.

The plan is to add two tennis courts and create six dedicated pickleball courts, while keeping the multiuse courts. The chain-link fence is also deteriorating and would be replaced.

Town Manager Peter Souza said that using the funds will save the town $320,000 in interest over the next 15 years, as the town would not have to bond for the project.

“This will help to reduce our long-term debt service liability,” Souza said. “We have, at this point, allocated approximately $500,000 for projects, out of that $1.5 million.

Town Engineer and Public Works Director Robert Jarvis said the project would be similar to the renovation of the tennis courts at Windsor High School, which was done in 2020, and that using the ARPA funds would allow the project to start sooner.

“This approach allows the project to be constructed this calendar year, instead of waiting until 2024,” Jarvis said. “Construction could start as early as this spring. The expected construction time is up to 90 days, depending on weather conditions.”

Council member Ronald Eleveld said he thought the project cost was high.

“Why does this cost $800,000? There is an existing tennis court. Are we repaving or are we ripping everything out?” Eleveld asked.

Jarvis said the existing surface would be reclaimed - ground up and reapplied - which would then be poured post-tension concrete.

“It does result in a longer-lasting, more durable surface,” Jarvis said. “The costs are in line with inflation, are in line with what we had for the high school courts.”

Council member Lenworth Walker asked about security at the courts.

“Are we improving lighting? Are we putting in cameras?” Walker asked.

Jarvis said the lighting has proved to be adequate, and that cameras could be included in the courts project, or added later on if the town wishes. But, Recreation and Leisure Services Director Paul Norris said there are already cameras on the L.P. Wilson Center building.

“At this point in time, we actually have cameras that go around the exterior walls that go around the entire L.P. Wilson facility,” Norris said, adding that the cameras cover the parking area, as well as the tennis/pickleball courts.

The council voted in favor of the motion, 7-0 with one abstention.

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