When there are dozens of players who for decades have been anticipating new tennis courts at Woodlake High School, the Monday, June 13, ceremonial first hits were quite the occasion and officially unveiled a new era in local tennis. The girls team are first up to take advantage of the newly constructed and now resurfaced courts.
WHS girls’ coach Mike Judson and boys’ coach Heather Sullenger were both on hand Monday and took their first hits along with several members of their respective teams. Later that same day, Coach Judson led his players through their first summer practice in preparation for the fall season.
“Our goal was to get these courts ready in time for fall practice,” said Rick Rodriguez, WHS principal. “And there will be designated times for the community to play too.”
Heather Sullenger, the boys’ tennis coach, will have a set of keys to the six brand-new courts.
“During the hot summer months we’ll work out some early morning and evening hours for the public to play,” Heather said. “With access to the new lights, I’m expecting most people will want to play at night when it’s cooler.”
Heather said at first the new surface will be slick and there will be a lot of slipping and sliding.
“There will be some getting used to the new surface,” Heather said. “The courts will play fast, and there will be some players who get shin splints.”
Everyone who came out for the “First Hit” ceremony Monday was in agreement: the new courts will improve the play of the high school teams and recreational players will have a new way to get some fun exercise.
The tennis coaches were already talking about the possibility of hosting summer tournaments. The $340,000 cost of the new courts was funded under Measure C, a school bond issue passed by voters in 2008 to improve the classroom, athletic, and performance facilities at Woodlake Union High School.
Performing Arts Building— The final Measure C project is the remodeling of the Performing Arts Building, currently under construction and scheduled to be completed in early fall. The reconstruction of the base and infrastructure of the 1980 building will cost $513,000; the audio and lighting package is costing $274,565; new curtains will add $20,000 to the budget for a total cost of $807,565.
Darren Dunn of Three Rivers, maintenance, operations and transportation director for Woodlake Unified School District, said the old multifunction PAB was a “rattle trap.” The new building will be a state-of-the-art facility to showcase plays, concerts, and all the performing arts.
The construction of the new Woodlake High School facilities is being completed under a contract with Forcum Mackey Construction Inc. of Ivanhoe.