Anonymous $44k donation allows Harmon Field to fix tennis courts

Published 6:16 pm Friday, September 3, 2010

Harmon Field has finally reached its goal of raising enough money to construct new tennis courts thanks to an anonymous donation received recently.
Harmon Field Parks and Recreation Supervisor George Alley says the park just received a $44,000 donation, which, in combination with other grants will allow for new flex courts as well as painting the exterior of the open air gym.
“Weve been working for a while to raise this money, so this is unbelievable,” Alley said.
Harmon Field has been discussing the aged and cracking courts for years, but has had no funding to resurface or replace the courts. Alley has been working on fundraising and has received a few generous grants from the Polk County Community Foundation for both the courts and ongoing renovations to the open air gym.
The flex courts will cost about $60,000 total and have a 20-year lifespan. The courts can be done partially from the donation, along with $18,000 worth of grants from the Polk County Community Foundation and $2,000 from the Thermal Belt Tennis Association.
Painting of the gym will also be paid for with the donation and other renovations have already been completed to the gym with a $10,000 grant from the Polk County Community Foundation.
Recent gym renovations have included new ceilings in the former band room as well as upstairs locker rooms and showers. A climbing wall has also been installed in the gym area and Alley has plans to redo the courts and basketball goals.
Alley says currently the gym area is used for the annual Blue Ridge Barbecue Festival and plans for the downstairs could be to put in tables for family gatherings such as parties and family reunions. The downstairs room of the gym once housed the wood shop at Tryon High School and was later the band room for Tryon Middle School.
Work on the tennis courts has not been done in years. Work could have been done in 2004, but the last definite resurfacing was done in 1999. Court #2 was closed this summer due to wide and dangerous cracks.
Alley says flex courts were chosen mainly due to the long lifespan and low maintenance. Flex courts are known to be durable and easier on players knees.
The flex courts have already been ordered and should take about four weeks to arrive. Alley says his target date for the courts and the gym is to be completed by the end of October.
Harmon Field purchased the library building of the former Tryon Middle School and the open air gym a few years ago with a grant from the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund. The library building now serves as a community center with activities for camps, karate classes and other events.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox