Platform tennis facility may be built in Naperville
By David Sharos For The Sun February 20, 2013 12:44PM
People play at the Winnetka Park District's platform tennis courtsback in April. Wilmette Park District is considering building paddle/platform tennis courts. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 23, 2013 6:14AM
Platform tennis is very popular on the East Coast. Now Naperville may be getting in on the act.
The Naperville Park and Recreation Committee met Wednesday to discuss a variety of potential and ongoing projects including a possible platform tennis facility that Executive Director Ray McGury said has appeared on patron interest surveys in the past year.
“At this point, we’re just looking at some options as far as sites and determining the extent of the interest,” McGury said.
“This is something that is really big on the East Coast where people play outdoors between October and March. It’s almost like racquetball where people can hit the ball off the back fence.”
Committee members have already toured facilities in Hinsdale and Glen Ellyn and have received offers from at least one of those facilities regarding setting up such a play area here.
One proposed site would be the Springbrook Golf Course near the golf driving range.
Park District Director of Planning Eric Shutes said that offering liquor service near such a facility might be a key component in terms of determining its location.
“Our understanding is that people enjoy playing and then having a few drinks afterwards, which makes Springbrook a good fit,” he said.
Conceptually, officials said the site could include four courts and occupy nearly 12,000 square feet. Committee members were told that a site along the Interstate 88 corridor would likely promote the development of a league that would attract others from outside of Naperville, but McGury suggested that catering to players outside the Park District should not be the focus.
“This is an amenity we would provide for people here in Naperville,” he said. “We shouldn’t be concerned about attracting people from Winnetka or wherever.”
Following a lengthy discussion, the committee said it would contact some residents who have already inquired about a platform tennis facility and see how much interest exists beyond those who have emailed the Park District or responded on interest surveys.
Wednesday’s meeting also included a discussion regarding improvements to DuPage River Sports Complex ball fields 4 and 5. Shutes said that bids on a number of capital improvement projects have come in well under budget and that there would be money to pay for $60,000 worth of improvements this year at both fields. Those improvements would include skinning and leveling both fields and expanding the size of field 5.
“These are things that are part of the regular maintenance we planned to do anyway,” Shutes said.
A budget update on the new Knoch Knolls Nature Center was also offered. It was noted that about $38,000 will be added to the budget to run a new electric service line to the area and bury some current above-ground service lines.
Committee members expressed concerns that the public might see the measure as adding to the scope of what is already a large project.
However, it decided that it would be less invasive and disruptive to add the service line now rather than later.