Cheshire’s basketball and tennis courts are often centers of outdoor activity during the warmer months and, because of their popularity and constant use by residents and non-residents, wear and tear has been an issue for quite some time.
The Director of the Cheshire Recreation Department, John Gawlak, announced at the Jan. 8 Parks and Recreation Commission meeting that he has entered into two agreements with the WBA Group of Branford to design and create reconstruction documents for “replacement basketball courts at the Youth Center, MacNamara and Cheshire Park, and also for the Cheshire Parks tennis courts.”
According to Gawlak, the new basketball courts will be asphalt with black and red acrylic paint. They will also have a center circle in which various logos, depending on the location of the courts, will be pictured. The court logo at Cheshire Park will be a classic white Cheshire “C”; the courts at MacNamara Field will have “The Mac” written in the center circle; and the courts at the Cheshire Parks and Recreation facility will have “P. Rec” emblazoned in the center of the court.
“The real kudos go to Sean Kimball and the Town Council for seeing the need and helping us out,” stated Gawlak, who received $500,000 in the last budget cycle from the Town Council to perform the much-needed renovations.
The tennis courts, which are located at Cheshire Park, will also receive a new paint job. The courts will be painted green with the blue court outline, and the overall configuration of the courts will change.
“Cheshire Park will be getting six dedicated pickleball courts which, if you have people playing doubles, could have almost 24 people on them, and three tennis courts,” explained Gawlak. “There is $290,000 in the budget just for the Cheshire Park tennis courts, and we are using the WBA Group of Branford for this project as well. Fencing will be installed to separate all the courts and some park benches will also be installed.”
As far as a timeline is concerned, Gawlak believes the work can be done sometime in the spring, largely due to the fact that the unseasonably warm winter Cheshire has been experiencing has made it easier for him and his team to get things done.
“We are going to get started on the renovations within the next couple of weeks,” he stated. “Ideally, we would like to be finished with everything by the end of May, but it’s all up to the weather, which, thankfully, has been really good to us so far.”
Besides the new courts, there are other changes coming to Cheshire’s parks, including renaming the summer concert series at Bartlem Park the “Bartlem Beats,” the possible return of the lifeguards at Mixville Park seven days a week, and, pending approval of the Parks and Recreation Commission master plan, the possible use of splash pads.