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Hartselle OKs tennis court repair for school play

By Deangelo McDaniel 340-2469

HARTSELLE — If you are a prep tennis players here, there is good news.

In two separate votes, the City Council and Hartselle Board of Education started the process of getting sanctioned tennis courts for high school players.

Tuesday night, the council agreed to deed four city-owned tennis courts near Hartselle Junior High to the school system.

The school board had voted 24 hours earlier to accept Shelby Contracting's quote of $41,126 to refurbish the courts.

Hartselle High Athletic Director Bob Young said the tennis courts may not be repaired until the 2008 season because the company can't put down asphalt during the winter months.

"They can't do the renovations during the season, so in all likelihood the repairs will happen after the 2007 season," Young said.

Once the renovations are complete, the courts will be sanctioned so Hartselle can host high-school tournaments, Superintendent William Michael Reed said.

"This is a fix that will last a few to several years," board Chairman Dr. Andy Dukes

Dr. Dukes said the cost of repairs could be less because Hartselle Utilities may donate light poles and the city is considering doing some site

"We're going to do what we can legally do to help them," Council President Kenny Thompson said.

In 1998, the city and school system agreed that the council would maintain the lights and pay the electric bill, while the board was responsible for maintenance.

Four of the courts had big cracks, suggesting lack of maintenance.

For at least 10 years, tennis supporters tried to get the council and school system to repair the courts. In August, one parent accused school and city officials of treating tennis players differently from football and baseball players.

The city does provide fields for the high-school baseball and softball teams, but the school system and Booster Club maintain the football stadium.

Even though the council voted to deed the courts to the school system, Dr. Dukes said the public probably still will use them.

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