Tennis court replacement expected next spring in Vernon Hills
A stalled project to rebuild tennis courts behind the Vernon Hills village hall is moving again, although new facilities won't be built until next spring.
The village board on Tuesday authorized Mayor Roger Byrne to ink a lease agreement with the Vernon Hills Park District regarding the four courts, which are in rough shape. There are large cracks, and sections of the pavement have begun to heave.
"It's not good," village Manager Mark Fleischhauer told the board. "We're getting calls on this almost on a weekly basis," he added.
Under the proposed agreement, the park district, which will consider the topic next week, would lease the property for a nominal fee and assume maintenance and operation of the village-owned courts.
The plan is for the district to demolish the four courts, remove the fencing, most of the landscaping and asphalt path. Three new courts would be built, and a "tot lot" and additional landscaping installed.
"This is one of those things items that sort of fell through the crack over the last several months when other things took greater priority," Fleischhauer said.
The disposition of the tennis courts has been part of the discussion involving the demolition in spring 2019 of the Larry Laschen Community Center. The former golf club house at one time had served as the village hall and park district headquarters.
The passive space and surrounding property, including four tennis courts adjoining the parking lot, are owned by the village.
The four courts are in extreme disrepair, and the village removed the net from one court to deter play. They will remain open through the season but won't reopen until the new ones have been built.
In previous discussions, the village agreed to pay 50% of the cost to build the new courts and fencing. At the time, the village's portion was estimated to be about $70,000, although that now could be $80,000 to $90,000, according to David Brown, village engineer/public works director.
Both entities had budgeted funds for the project in the current fiscal year, but the park district won't be able to do the work until next year due to budget issues involving COVID-19, Fleischhauer said.
A signed agreement is the first step in getting the project moving, he added.
The park district has 10 tennis courts and six pickleball courts open through early November.