At the Minot Park Board meeting last night, Minot's destroyed tennis courts were the biggest topic of discussion.
Commissioner Connie Feist summed up the myriad issues. For starters, the idea to redo Hammond Park on a massive scale and create a tennis center seemed to be a sound one, but is Hammond Park necessarily the right location? Or should focus be placed upon redoing Minot's tennis courts as they were, deciding a tennis center at Hammond is unnecessary? As they're currently in the middle of a master-planning process for Minot's parks, she said, hearing from various user groups would be helpful.
Minot High tennis coach Scott DeLorme was present to add some thoughts.
"For high school purposes," DeLorme asserted, "groups of 4-5 courts is ideal."
He said 2-3 courts really isn't enough for tournaments, just practice, and that was why Hammond was so popular, because it had more.
"4-5 courts is really the minimum the state looks for," he said, for tournaments.
"What about 10 courts?" Feist asked. "We've heard 10 would be ideal."
DeLorme brightened at this. "Yes, 10 courts would be 100% ideal."
He also went on to say he'd heard people praise Hammond Park's location and courts.
Feist nodded. "We need to get tennis back to our community. If no one else has 10 courts," then that's all the more incentive.
Commissioner Robert Petry also spoke on the topic. "Hammond is our premier complex. It's just gotten old."
But, he took it with a grain of salt, so to speak, continuing, "In order to take on this amount of expense (and feel good about it), I want to make sure it's the right location."
"If we're tearing it all down to mother earth, we could put it anywhere. I'd like to consider all the options."
He also suggested there might be more to mull over than just the location. Among other questions: "Do we put lights on a couple courts? If so, how will that affect the neighborhood?"
The plan, then, is to spend time getting the details in order and conferring with the community, even examining how these kinds of things have been done in other towns.
"We will be looking at other tennis facilities and asking for people with tennis expertise to provide input," he said. Also, "I would like it so people recognize this is a new facility. If you have an old white pickup, and you buy a new white pickup, (it might be that) no one will notice," he said, to laughter.
So, given all there is yet to decide, what can be done in the meantime as a stop gap?
Feist then brought the discussion back to the original proposal, that Roosevelt Park's 3 tennis courts be recovered, for approximately $165-225 thousand, cost to be included in bids for repairing the devastated park in total.
The motion was passed and accepted unanimously.