The Friends of Andover Tennis took to the new Andover High School tennis courts this past Sunday for an official grand opening ceremony.
Leaders of the initiative thanked the town for supporting last fall’s renovation project as well as the many generous contributors who helped to fund the effort.
Tennis players donated $40,000 to the town through the friends’ fund at Essex County Community Foundation, while local businesses and individuals contributed substantial gifts for fundraisers. Charitable funds and corporations including The Waldo Trust, Pfizer, Inc. and Eisai, Inc. of Andover all made large monetary donations to the project as well.
The friends group especially thanked town and school officials, including the Plant and Facilities Department and architect Chris Huntress. In addition, Art Tucker of Andover’s California Products, Inc., was singled out for his company’s donation of the high-quality surface materials that the friends group says has allowed Andover High’s tennis courts to become among the best outdoor hard-surface courts in the Merrimack Valley.
Selectmen Chairman Alex Vispoli, Andover High Athletic Director Don Doucette and boys tennis coach Mike Wartman were also on hand to show their appreciation for the project that will serve the schools and the public for years to come.
The seven courts at the high school on Shawsheen Road were completed last October using $400,000 approved by a 203 Town Meeting vote.
While the ceremony went off as expected, rain canceled a planned youth clinic and afternoon of round-robin competition between adults and members of the high school tennis teams.
The Friends of Andover Tennis will now turn its attention to repairing the four public tennis courts at Rec Park. Tax-deductible donations are being sought for minor repairs and a paint job to extend the life of those courts for another 10 years.
Donations by check to “Friends of Andover Tennis Fund/ECCF” may be mailed to Essex County Community Foundation, 175 Andover St., Suite 101, Danvers 01923; or by credit card through the link on the nonprofit friends group’s web page. For more information, visit www.friendsofandovertennis.org.