Tennis courts at Ripp Park

A digital rendering shows how the new tennis courts at Ripp Park will appear, once reconstruction of their playing surface has been completed in August.  

The Waunakee Community School District has agreed to pay more than a quarter million dollars to the Village of Waunakee over the next four years for improvements to its tennis courts.

Business Manager Steve Summers said the district had no choice but to pay the $285,000.

“Our school district does not own our own tennis courts,” Summers said. “And the district does not have any intentions of creating our own tennis-court complex. So given that, it is in our best interest to partner with the village for a facility.”

School board members discussed the upgrades taking place at Ripp Park during a June meeting.

Vice President David Boetcher expressed a concern about the financial relationship between the district and the Village of Waunakee, noting that the district pays for all its own facility repairs.

“We need to start getting a very clear discussion with the village as to who’s paying for what,” Boetcher said, “because we do not charge them maintenance on our basketball courts, the pool or anything else that the village uses for some of their programs. But here they are, charging us.”

Improvements have been made to the tennis courts twice since they were installed at Ripp Park. Play area was expanded back in 2005, and lights were added approximately seven years ago.

The cost of those projects totaled just $272,000. The school district would chip in $50,000.

However, plans for the current project have included complete reconstruction of the courts and installation of a $600,000 Pro-Bounce surface. The final bill has been estimated at $725,000.

“There was a substantial amount of cracking and shifting in the subsurface,” said Sue McDade, community services director for the Village of Waunakee. “And they were cracked beyond being able to patch with a standard fill and recolor.”

Summers said contributing to the project is only fair, though, considering that the school district accounts for 60 percent of the courts’ scheduled usage time.

“We have a varsity men’s and women’s tennis program that relies exclusively on Ripp Park as being our home for practices and competitions,” Summers said, “which is why the school district is participating in this effort to reconstruct the tennis courts in 2019.”

McDade said improvements should be done by August.

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