The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, May. 24, 2022

Van Wert tennis courts sporting new look

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

The newly reconditioned courts at the Van Wert County Foundation Tennis Complex at Van Wert High School will have players and fans alike seeing red.

This drone photo taken by Adam Sealscott shows the new scarlet-and-gray color scheme on the tennis complex’s six tennis courts.

That’s because all six courts at the complex are now Cougar scarlet red, a unique look for any tennis facility. In addition, the surface surrounding the courts is now gray, the other Cougar color.

“When we first built the complex we used traditional USTA (United States Tennis Association) colors – blue courts and a green surrounding surface and when we talked about it this time, we said there’s no reason for us not to consider something that is very specific to our community,” Van Wert County Tennis Association Capital Campaign Chairman John White said of the new look.

The Van Wert County Tennis Association began working on funding, designing and building the facility in 2010. The complex was completed in 2012 and a year later, it won one of 19 national awards from the USTA and was the only high school level facility to win for excellence in construction or renovation of tennis facilities.

The current complex, which also features storage space, a concession area and restrooms and is considered the nicest facility in a multi-county area, was necessary because other tennis courts around town were in severe decline.

“It was a major endeavor, we had about 15 people on the committee and we raised independently about $450,000, so it’s a major asset,” Van Wert County Tennis Association President Wayne Kilton said.

The facility is used by the public for open games and tournament play, by Van Wert High School’s boys’ and girls’ tennis teams, physical education classes and for youth education. However, it was time for the courts to be resurfaced and reconditioned, a project that should be done every seven to 10 years.

“This is an asset to the community and we wanted to keep it in good physical condition so that’s why we needed to start looking into what it would take to do a reconditioning project,” White explained.

“We want to keep it looking top quality,” Kilton added.

Kilton began the process of scheduling the work several months ago and was able to set it for the month of June, ahead of the start of summer play and tennis camps and before the start of the 2020 girls’ season.

Along with resurfacing and reconditioning an area of more than 40,000 square feet, pickleball lines were added to two courts and 10 and under tennis lines were added to two others, in hopes of attracting players to the fast-growing sport of pickleball, as well as younger tennis players who want to learn more about that sport.

The latest project cost $43,000, which included court reconditioning and concrete power washing.

“Money also needs to be raised for ongoing and future needs over the next eight to 10 years to protect this community asset,” Kilton said.

“We’ll go to local businesses and people who are interested in tennis, pickleball players, anyone who has a specific interest in the sport and in maintaining this complex for us,” White added.

Anyone who would like to donate to the project can send a tax-deductible check with “Van Wert Tennis Complex” on the memo line made payable to the Van Wert County Foundation at 138 E. Main St., Van Wert, OH 45891.

For more information about the project or donations, contact Kilton at 419.910.0451 or White at 419.203.1217.

POSTED: 06/29/20 at 12:58 am. FILED UNDER: News