STERLING – It might take longer than expected, but students at Sterling High School soon will have a new and safer place to play tennis.
The old tennis courts along East Miller Road on the north end of campus are being replaced.
Superintendent Tad Everett said the project is running about a week behind schedule, but he hopes work can be finished by Aug. 8.
One reason the project is running behind schedule, Everett said, is bad weather.
In addition, some limestone foundation had to be installed, which also extended the project.
"The limestone foundation had to be added to provide a better base and support," Everett said. "There were major cracks in the foundation, and it was a safety concern for our student athletes. The limestone foundation will help prevent those issues."
If the tennis courts are not completed by Aug. 8, Everett said, the start of the tennis season could be affected.
"The worst case scenario is we can't start our tennis season on the new courts, and the best case scenario is we will be able to," Everett said. "Even if we have the worst case scenario, we will be playing tennis on the new courts during the tennis season."
If necessary, Everett said, the district will rent the Sterling Park District's tennis facilities.
"We have talked with the park district about that, and they understand," Everett said. "We are not that far behind, but we are really pushing to get the project done by Aug. 8."
The $288,000 project is being paid for, in large part, with existing Health Life Safety funds. The school district is also using money from the district's maintenance fund, a grant from the U.S. Tennis Association, and private donations.
"No money is being taken out of the education fund," Everett said. "It's really important that we are not taking funds away from educating kids and teacher salaries."
Everett said the new tennis courts are definitely needed.
"It's a much-needed project, and it's long overdue," he said. "We don't have records as to when the last time the tennis courts were last resurfaced. It's been at least 30 years."