New tennis, basketball courts for Pershing Park

The Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board is in the process of replacing four tennis courts at Pershing Park using funding from Support the Courts, a local nonprofit that received an anonymous donation for the renovation of numerous courts in Minneapolis parks.

Powderhorn and Webber Parks are also receiving new tennis facilities, though Powderhorn will be losing a court in the process. Each park will also receive a new basketball court. The new facilities are expected to open this spring.

Some residents aren’t happy about the change, however, because they feel the Park Board should have asked for citizen input before starting the installation. Dick Shanahan, a Powderhorn resident, called the MPRB’s actions “disturbing” in a post on the Minneapolis Issues List.

“Jon Gurban, MPRB Superintendent, had this terse response when I asked him why the community was not consulted or even informed of the plan in advance: ‘The board approved it,’” Shanahan wrote. “When I asked that work be halted until a meeting could be held to gather citizen comment and input, he responded, ‘The board approved the project and I won’t stop the work.’”

At Pershing Park, the tennis courts that were built in the 1970s have been demolished and workers are getting ready to install the new materials. Park Director Marc Holety doesn’t feel that the Park Board should waste any time.

“This is an opportunity that doesn’t come by often,” he said. “The courts are going to be constructed the right way so they should be easer to maintain. It’ll be nice to have viable tennis courts in this area of the city.”

Contact Mary O’Regan at moregan@mnpubs.com or 436-5088.