Berkshire Community College (BCC) announced the refurbishment and expansion of the college's tennis courts at an event held on its main campus. The project, which will begin in early July, is expected to be completed by Fall 2011.
"The courts you see behind us have been closed since 2001 and the college was unable to offer tennis programming to students and residents," said Dr. Paul Raverta, BCC's President. "With the 2009 grand re-opening of the BCC swimming pool and the renovations taking place as we speak at Paterson Field House, there seemed no better opportunity to upgrade the courts as a significant addition to our health and fitness complex."
This comprehensive project will include: the refurbishment of the three existing courts and two newly constructed Quick Start courts for children under 8 years old. The three larger courts will also include a second set of lines for children under age 10. In addition to promoting broad public access to these tennis court facilities, this initiative will support new educational opportunities such as the development of physical education courses, private lessons for youth and adults, and non-credit lifelong learning courses.
"Public tennis facilities in our region are scarce. Community groups and individuals who love the game of tennis will be able to use these new courts," said Dr. Raverta. "By re-establishing this complex as a viable outdoor tennis facility, Berkshire Community College can respond to the needs of community organizations and residents who have expressed a desire to have access to useable, public tennis courts."
The project will help to engage youth in the game of tennis and will serve as an instruction site for both credit and non-credit tennis programming at BCC. The college has been awarded a grant of $38,000 from USTA National; $12,000 from the Western MA Association of the USTA New England Section; and $12,000 from the USTA New England Section to support the project. Petricca Industries will also provide an in-kind donation of substrate materials for the base of the courts. BCC will continue to seek support for this project from the local business community.
A recent project feasibility study indicates that the new facility should expect a high utilization by regional tennis groups including the Pittsfield Community Tennis Association (CTA), and local no-cut high school teams. The college estimates that over 130 youth, 100 USTA members, and as many as 500 other residents will utilize the courts on an annual basis. Given the limited number of playable courts in the area, BCC anticipates that the new complex will be enthusiastically received by the community.