Groveport City Council weighing idea of building five new tennis courts in park


By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

A proposal for additional tennis and pickleball courts continues to be lobbed back and forth at Groveport City Council meetings.

Council is considering legislation to contract with a company to engineer, design, and estimate costs for the possible construction of five new tennis courts in Groveport Park.

The legislation arose after council recently rejected the idea of building two additional tennis courts in Degenhart Park. Currently Degenhart Park, located at the southern ends of Lesleh Avenue and Madison Street, has three existing lighted tennis courts.

Groveport City Administrator Marsha Hall said the total cost estimate for the rejected two additional courts at Degenhart Park was: with lights, $293,287; without lights $218,287. An additional $30,000 would have been needed to move a sewer line to accommodate the new courts.

At council’s March 19 committee of the whole meeting, Hall said the cost estimate to build the five new tennis courts in Groveport Park could be between $800,000 to $850,000.

“I’m cautious about the money,” said Council President Shawn Cleary. “What are the potential design costs?”
City Engineer Steve Farst said the cost to design and engineer the courts could be 10 to 15 percent of the construction cost, or around $80,000.

The proposed five new tennis courts would also include striping for 10 pickleball courts that would fit within the tennis courts.

“It’s a way we can take care of two sports for the community,” said Councilwoman Jean Ann Hilbert.

Hall said the city’s Master Park Plan shows the tennis courts could be built near Ohio and Erie Lock 22 in Groveport Park. However, she said that distance from the rest of the park could increase the cost for electrical lighting for the courts. Plus, the courts would be a long walk from the parking lot, so other locations in the park could be considered.

Hall said there are a couple of possible opportunities for grant funding for the project, but one of the grants does not take applications until November and the other is an Ohio NatureWorks grant, which does not involve a large amount of money.

“The NatureWorks grant wouldn’t provide anywhere close to the amount of money needed,” said Hall. “It’s an easier grant, but a smaller pot of money.”

Councilman Ed Dildine said he contacted State Senator Kevin Bacon’s office about potential grant funding for the tennis courts and was told there are community capital project grants that could be pursued that require a 50 percent local match in funding. He said such a grant could include the tennis/pickleball courts plus other recreational improvements to Groveport Park that are listed in the city’s Master Park Plan.

Council will consider the tennis court project proposal further at its future meetings.

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