Penn Hills residents are serving up support for tennis courts
Penn Hills graduate Alicia Carson doesn't understand why building new tennis courts in the municipality is even a question.
“It's an inexpensive sport, and it's fun from age 5 to age 90,” said the 2012 Penn Hills graduate. “I know the courts are expensive, but I think it would be a good investment.”
More than 30 residents agreed with Carson, and showed up to voice their opinions at a Feb. 11 Penn Hills Parks and Recreation meeting, in which director John Scaglione gauged public interest in building new tennis courts in Penn Hills.
One person who would like to see them is school district athletic director John Peterman. Because of new construction over the past four years, the district's tennis team — and six other athletic teams — are bused to their practices. The tennis team practices on rented courts at Boyce Park in Plum, Peterman said.
Scaglione said he and Peterman have talked about the team's needs, but the discussion session Feb. 11 was strictly about the possibility of community tennis courts that would be open to the public.
Resident Judith Pasquarelli, whose son spent four years on the Penn Hills tennis team, said new courts potentially could help both the district and community.
“I know it's not (the municipality's) responsibility to take care of (the school district's) problem, but what you could do is build on what they started,” Pasquarelli said.
Some residents suggested that the district should rebuild courts for its teams. Kiski Area School District upgraded its tennis courts in 2010, according to business director Peggy Gillespie, at a cost of $170,000.
“Right now, we're struggling to field a full boys tennis team,” Peterman said, questioning whether district-built courts would be a worthwhile investment.
Carson, who played three years on the tennis team, certainly seemed to think so, particularly given the high cost of equipment in other district sports.
“You can get a five-dollar racket and play tennis,” she said.
Penn Hills tennis coach Jack Kowalski said he felt new courts would, over time, foster a culture of tennis and ultimately mean regular use by both students and residents.
“What you have to do is start kids young, but if there aren't any courts, you can't get that culture going,” Kowalski said.
In Pittsburgh's Highland Park neighborhood, that culture took root in just five years, after Citiparks officials built new courts in 2007.
“You should see what happened in Highland Park after they built their courts,” said Art DeMateo, who moved to Penn Hills in the 1990s. “It's an entire tennis community out there.”
Scaglione said if the interest is there — parks and recreation will hold at least two more meetings to continue gauging residents' interest — his department will look into a U.S. Tennis Association grant to help fund the project, which more than likely would take place in Universal Park, where there are existing-but-unusable courts.
Scaglione estimated that repairing and renovating the Universal Park courts would cost between $40,000 and $50,000, but noted that was only a rough estimate.
The Penn Hills Parks and Recreation Department will announce the date for the next community meeting.
Patrick Varine is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Capital program aims to improve Penn Hills’ attractiveness
- Penn Hills officials pursue new municipal building
- Penn Hills man arrested for pair of KFC robberies
- Name dropped from Penn Hills library after pledge goes unfulfilled from donor’s estate
- Free flu shots offered in Penn Hills this month
- Access to snacks in cafeteria rankles Penn Hills parents
- Penn Hills works on ordinance to deal with abandoned properties