Fundraiser underway to refurbish aging Watertown High tennis courts

Watertown High School tennis courts

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Age is catching up to the tennis courts at Watertown High School and a fundraiser is underway to give the facility a much-needed facelift

They were built in the early 1950s and the last time the tennis courts were refurbished was almost 30 years ago.

With the north country winters taking their toll, it’s now time for the courts to get a facelift, which is why the Watertown City School District educational foundation is looking for some help to get the 10 courts looking like new.

“It’s something we needed to do,” athletics director George Emrich said. There’s about 800 feet of cracks in the tennis courts and the courts are pretty weathered and we have 10 courts and we want to make a pickleball court in the middle and the community is going to get behind us and all the schools in the Frontier League are supporting it, the North Country Tennis Association is supporting it, our own Watertown Booster Club donated $31,000 towards the effort.”

While the court is used by the high school for phys ed classes, the boys’ and girls’ tennis teams and the Frontier League for their annual tennis tournament, the court is also utilized by a number of individuals and area groups as well.

“It’s allowed to be used by our board of education throughout the whole year, community members come up and play, the city has their city tournament here usually in September, the North Country Tennis Association, as I mentioned, they’re up here using the courts a lot, lessons are given up here,” Emrich said, “so it really is -- it’s a community area and we thought, you know, at a time when we can’t use them, maybe this would be a good time to clean them.”

The total cost to resurface the courts is estimated to be in the neighborhood of $100,000 and Emrich says there are a number of ways that individuals, groups, or organizations can donate.

“People can make a donation directly to the Northern New York Community Foundation, they can make a donation, they can go to our website we have and they can purchase a shirt that says Frontier League Tennis on the front,” he said. “All the shirts and hoodies and items are in all the school colors of the Frontier League and on the back it says ‘you got served.’ They can be part of our bottle and can drive that we’re going to have later this fall, also.”

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