Harmon Field has new flex tennis courts

Published 9:44 pm Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A new era of recreation has arrived at Harmon Field, thanks to fundraising and a few local contributions. New flex tennis courts were installed recently, and the open air gym has been rejuvenated.

The new flex surface for the tennis courts has a 20-year estimated life span. The Harmon Field Board of Supervisors has been discussing the need for repairs or replacement of the tennis courts for years, but has been unable to do any work because of lack of funding. Court #2 was closed earlier this year due to wide, dangerous cracks in the playing surface.

Earlier this year the town received an anonymous donation to cap off ongoing fundraising for the courts and open air gym. That money enabled Harmon Field to begin work.

The cost of the flex courts was $59,000, according to Harmon Field Parks and Recreation Supervisor George Alley. He says the park is especially appreciative to the Polk County Community Foundation for granting $18,000 for the project. The rest of the funds came from an anonymous donation of $31,000, $2,000 from the Thermal Belt Tennis Association, $2,000 from Friends of Harmon Field and $6,000 in other donations.

The open air gym has also been improved recently. It was repainted and the basketball backboards and rims were replaced. The locker rooms, party room, equipment room and office at the gym have also been recently renovated, and a new roof was installed. A new climbing wall has also been constructed and a variety of sports equipment has been purchased.

The cost of the gym renovations was $55,000, Alley says. Harmon Field officials say they are grateful to the Polk County Community Foundation again, which contributed two grants for $11,000. The Town of Tryon, the Polk County Board of Commissioners and the Harmon Field Board of Supervisors contributed $13,000 each and the anonymous donor contributed $5,000.

On both projects combined, the town and Harmon Field staff have provided management, contract oversight, heavy equipment, supplies and labor totaling more than $10,000, Alley says. Lots of hard work was put in by Adrian Chapman, Travis Aldred and Bob Mason as well as the town administrative staff. Town residents should be proud of this example of municipal teamwork, community input and creative funding.

Work still left to do on the tennis courts includes new nets and benches, which the Thermal Belt Tennis Association is currently considering donating. New fencing for the tennis courts is also on Harmon Fields five-year capital improvement plan.

Work left on the open-air gym includes striping the basketball court, providing some grip on the playing surface, painting the gym ceiling and possibly fencing.

A dedication for the newly renovated facilities is currently being planned.