Katonah-Lewisboro School Board Accepts Courts As Gift

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CROSS RIVER, N.Y. -- The Katonah-Lewisboro school board voted to accept six tennis courts for the John Jay campus as a gift, making their construction more likely.

The vote was 5-2 vote in favor and was made at the board's June 19 meeting. The construction of the courts, which will be at the front of the campus on a site that currently contains a softball field, will be paid for entirely through private donations raised by the Katonah Lewisboro Community Tennis Association.

There was about $484,000 in funding on hand as of the board meeting, according to an update provided by interim Superintendent Michael Jumper. The money includes a grant from the United States Tennis Association.

KLCTA received price quotes from a company called Oval Tennis for completion of the work, according to the approval resolution.

The construction at the campus could take place either this year or in 2015, according to a timeline update presented at a school board meeting earlier this month. The estimated cost for maintenance of the courts is $80,000 over 16 years.

Voting in favor were school board President Charles Day, Vice President Marjorie Schiff and Trustees Janet Harckham, Richard Stone and Stephanie Tobin. Voting against were Trustees Peter Treyz and Jeffrey Holbrook, who wanted the maintenance to be paid for privately instead of with public funds.

In his remarks before voting against, Holbrook noted the availability of courts nearby and said usage of the John Jay courts would be “relatively low.” 

Treyz, who is not against the idea of having campus tennis courts, cited the cost of existing field space as an example of is concern. 

Praising the deal, Tobin's response was “very excited.” Harckham felt that the private-public collaboration could serve as a model for the future. Addressing future maintenance, she said it is a "responsibility" of accepting the gift.

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