Archive for Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lawrence officials working on issue of lights at LHS tennis center

October 27, 2010


The city of Lawrence still wants to install lights at Lawrence High School’s new tennis center, and still has $100,000 set aside to get the job done.

But critical details about the lights themselves — how many, how tall, how bright and how long they’d be turned on, if at all — remain undetermined, as officials try to serve up a plan acceptable to those who live nearby.

“I’d like to get a plan that responds to the neighbors’ concerns,” said David Corliss, city manager. “We haven’t been able to do that yet.”

Neighbors have complained about noise, bad language, trash and trespassing attributable to public use of the eight courts, which opened in April behind the Lawrence Virtual School.

“Our neighbors are collecting tennis balls for their dogs,” said Jeanne Klein, a leader of the Centennial Neighborhood Association.

Scott Morgan, a member of the Lawrence school board, expressed frustration earlier this week with the city’s progress on lights. The district financed the construction of additional courts, installation of upsized electrical equipment and even placement of supports for poles, all to meet community needs.

The city agreed to put in lights, Morgan said, and they should go up.

“I understand concerns have been raised,” he said. “I think those are surmountable, and I respect those concerns, but we certainly have been through the ringer … and I fear that if we don’t do something, the city will just let it go away because we all have other things to do.”

Mark Hecker, an assistant director of parks and recreation, said that officials continued to review options for sizing, placement and operations of lights.

“We have scenarios,” Hecker said. “None of them are ideal. If we had an ideal scenario, we would be done by now.”

Corliss said he had no specific timeline for making a recommendation to Lawrence city commissioners, who would make the final decision about lights.


irvan moore 6 years, 9 months ago

i like it, Morgan is complaining about the city not keeping up their end of the bargin after all the problems with lights at the football field where the schoolboard didn't follow the agreements. mr. Morgan should get off his high horse and give the taxpayers some respect.

been_there 6 years, 9 months ago

The same rules should apply to the tennis and basketball courts at Veterans Park. Do what we do about the foul language from Veterans Park, close the windows and turn up the tv.

budwhysir 6 years, 9 months ago

I am so greatfull the city is able to help in this matter. I do think that comparing a $100,000 NEEDED light project to a 18 MILLION DOLLAR UNNEEDED library expansion is a no brainer. Maybe we should look into moving the library to an outside facility and locate it within blocks of the new light project. Then we could spend $500,000 on the lights, make them bright enough to light up the whole town and save a cool 17.5 mil.

Andrea Hoag 6 years, 9 months ago

Let me start by saying that I have never worked at the library but I have been visiting there since I was old enough to grasp a book. I want people to understand that the long-overdue library expansion is not only needed, it is critical. There is no way for Lawrence to be a world-class city without a library properly equipped to handle the needs of its residents. UNDERSTAND that 70% of the adults in this town carry a library card around in their wallets. That is A LOT of people to serve on the meager budget the library scrapes by on now. These smart patrons are saving hundreds, or in my case, thousands of dollars every year by utilizing the computers, books, music, DVDs, newspapers and magazines at the Lawrence Public Library. Want to know how much you are saving per year by using the library? Use this simple calculator: You will be amazed. There can be no doubt that the Lawrence Public Library is the cultural heart of this city. It is a place I have loved since the early days I was a child and proudly searched the "spider web" on the wall in the children's section to find my name hanging there. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to ensure this institution is given a chance to grow and keep pace with the community's needs. A vote against the expansion of the library would be nothing more than an anti-intellectual vote against the proud cultural heritage of the city I'm so proud to call home.

jafs 6 years, 8 months ago

There are many more things Lawrence would need to do to become a "world-class city".

And, given our size, I'm not sure that's a goal we need to strive for.

Zachary Stoltenberg 6 years, 8 months ago

"70% of the adults in this town carry a library card around in their wallets."

I have a library card, haven't stepped foot in the building in over five years. Wonder how many people like me are out there...

mom_of_three 6 years, 9 months ago

bad language - oh no (gasp)! the neighborhood next to the high school is also next to a college. You might think you have heard bad language before.

Besides, maybe if you put in the lights, there wouldn't be so much bad language!!!!!!!!

Jayhawker07 6 years, 9 months ago

70%, Where do you get you knolwedge? Blockbuster or the Computer

been_there 6 years, 8 months ago

He must be referring to that library card I got 20 years ago and used twice. Also, how many of the card holders still live in Lawrence? Do people notify the library when they move? My mom had one, hadn't used it in years, but she died last year. Should I notify the library?

Stuart Evans 6 years, 8 months ago

couple questions. Are the lights for the school kids? Will they be required to play tennis after 8:30pm through the summer, or after 5:00pm in the winter? What if they were just forced to used glowing balls and rackets? oh and of course gimp mask's, with gag ball, to keep the profanity down.

grimpeur 6 years, 8 months ago

Of course, USD 497 should be responsible for all these expenses. Not the city. This is a result of the district's lack of coherent planning while rushing the football fields into existence before someone suggested they spend the capital improvement money on something important.

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 8 months ago

Why is this an issue NOW?? It's getting a little cold out for tennis at night and is there really a need for those lights? Are folks standing around waiting for the sun to come up so they can play? I think the schools have a lot more to worry about than this.How many kids are wanting to use the courts after dark? Yes, kids,since we are talking about Lawrence High's new tennis center.

overthemoon 6 years, 8 months ago

It is the Lawrence Tennis Center. The former facility and the new one are a shared responsibility of the schools and the city. It is used by many individuals, USTA and WTT (world team tennis) Leagues, Lawrence Parks and Rec Lessons and the Lawrence Tennis Association tournaments, clinics and club events. The courts are in use year round...there are intrepid players who will stop only for ice, high wind and temps below 20 or so. And then you really ought to see the number of families and parent/child pairs getting out for some fun and exercise, learning a terrific game that can be played by young and old.

What I find reprehensible and all too familiar is that the issues of lights, neighbors, etc should have been addressed in the planning stages. Constantly having to retrofit new facilities due to lack of planning costs us every single time.

4getabouit 6 years, 8 months ago

So the neighbors are collecting balls. Perhaps they should donate them to the city.

overthemoon 6 years, 8 months ago

I'm sure Jeane had a lot more to say than that clipped bit that is irrelevant to the story....

jafs 6 years, 8 months ago

overthemoon for the win!

Why on earth can't this city (and school board, etc.) manage to plan things properly before they do them?

All of these issues should have been settled before the project began.

overthemoon 6 years, 8 months ago

I would really like this facility, once all the issues are worked out, to be named the Tommy Johnson Sr. Tennis Center.

overthemoon 6 years, 8 months ago

why was my suggestion for the naming of the facility scrubbed?

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