Led by a still fairly new nonprofit group, a push is now gaining ground to give a little love to Pauls Valley’s tennis courts.
One portion of the plan to update the courts in Wacker Park got a recent boost, while another part looks to be on the expensive side as more of a long-term approach will be needed.
The boost comes with approval of $15,000 in city tourism funds to help with the cost of resurfacing the four courts on the east side of the local park.
“Our first priority is those tennis courts,” said Allison Dunham of the Pauls Valley Parks Foundation formed last year.
“The east courts will be the first stage. They’re not in as bad a shape. We’ll probably be able to just repave those courts. That’s not the case for the west courts.”
According to Dunhan, the parks group has already privately raised in the neighborhood of $20,000. The total cost to resurface the four east courts could be as high at $50,000.
She's quick to add work on those courts could possibly start as early as this fall. It will include replacing the netting and fencing.
The story is much different for the eight courts in the middle of the PV park on the west side.
“The west courts are in horrible shape,” Dunham says. “They will have to be ripped up and rebuilt.”
She says any improvement plans must first receive approval from the city of Pauls Valley since the courts are in a city park.
Not only are those courts in rough shape but they’re just a little bit on the smaller size and not up to standard tennis size.
The estimates to get this second phase done, complete with “top notch” courts is around $400,000.
Both Dunham and fellow foundation member Kyle Readnour say the nonprofit group was formed for one purpose – to help address the needs for any of Pauls Valley’s city parks.
“We’re not with the city and we’re not with the school,” Dunham said.
“We’re a nonprofit that will raise money for things that we would like to be seen done in Wacker Park. The catalyst to form the foundation was the tennis courts.
“We decided to go nonprofit so then we’ll be able to try and get grants. We were looking for grant avenues.”
“We’re trying to get some things together,” Readnour said. “We’re headed in the right direction now.”
Group members chose to request tourism funding because they believe the tennis courts can represent a tourism draw by bringing visitors into Pauls Valley.
“I think our parks are our biggest tourism draw. When you go in the park the first thing you see are the tennis courts,” Dunham said.
“Tourism is part of it. With the east courts done we can finally host USTA tournaments and bring in lots of people for tennis.”