Ridgeland upgrading tennis courts


Ridgeland Parks hopes to wrap several ongoing projects including the $1.14 million parking lot project at the Hite B. Wolcott Park as well as the resurfacing of courts at the Ridgeland Tennis Center.

Parks Director John Sidney North said that the project is about 40 days behind due to weather with an original target completion date as early as August. Despite the setbacks, North was optimistic that with good weather the parking lot should be completed by the end of the month.

“We are behind right now and it all depends on the weather but if they are able to get started this week and next like we hope you will see a good bit of progress out there,” North said.

North said that most of the lighting and irrigation is in place and that he expects to see crews pouring lime and asphalt as early as this week. Construction of sidewalks, curbs and gutters are scheduled to move forward on Monday, Sept. 14. If these steps are completed within the next couple of weeks North said that that would leave just improvements like striping, brickwork and fencing, all of which he hopes to see complete by the end of the month.

“We are excited to have this work done,” North said. “It will add a lot more parking for events there and should keep people from parking on McClellan Drive.”

Funding for the new parking lot largely comes from the $19,960,000 general obligation bonds issued in May of 2019. 

The Wolcott parking lot may be the biggest ticket item currently on North’s plate but improvements are happening city-wide.

At the first meeting in August, the city board approved a budget amendment worth roughly $100,000 for the Parks Department to replace four scoreboards at Freedom Ridge Park. North noted that the previous scoreboards were nearly 17 years old.

At the September 1 board meeting, North got approval to spend $43,000 on resurfacing six tennis courts at the Ridgeland Tennis Center. North said that the work was long overdue.

“This is something that has needed to be done for a couple of years now,” North said. “Those courts probably see some play at least 350 out of 365 days in a year.”

North said that the courts host everything from junior and adult tournaments to matches and practices held by local schools.

He hoped to see work starting Monday.

North said that the money for the courts came from funds saved by canceling Kids Fest and the Balloon Glow.

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