City of Merritt moves forward with design for new tennis court.

Rick Green, director of public works and engineering services at City of Merritt, is set to begin drawing preliminary plans for the new court.

Merritt Tennis Club vice president Bal Bains hopes that the new court at Central Park, can be across the road from Snake Oil Ent. and Nicola Valley Massage Therapy Clinic to increase visibility and be near park amenities.

Diane Quinn, secretary of the Merritt Tennis Club, says the new site will be great for club members and tennis players.

“The present (tennis court), we went many years without water, we were going to the golf course,” said Quinn. “There was only a parking site for eight (to) 10 cars so you had to park at the site up the hill, there was no washrooms there.”

Bains says the new site already has bathrooms, concession, and enough parking.

The tennis club will still have to wait at least a year before the new court can be actualized. 

In an email to the Herald, Green stated “Once a concept plan has been developed for the future of Central Park, all stakeholders/user groups will be able to have input prior to plans being finalized and put forward for budget consideration,” reads the email.

“It is likely that we are at least a year away from bringing a plan forward for public engagement,” Green added.

According to Quinn, the current tennis court is almost 40 years old. “The standing now of our present facility is all the work that the fellow members have done to two courts we can play on this year,” said Quinn. “It’s a bandaid solution, and it’s going to need more repairs every year.”

The new tennis court is set to take approximately three years to complete. In the meantime, the Merritt Tennis Club aims to maintain the current courts.

The club is still awaiting an estimate on the cost to construct the new tennis courts however, “To give you an idea,” said Quinn. “Just resurfacing four courts six years ago was $40,000.”

“And putting the underneath layer in was well over $100,000,” Quinn continued. “I’m sure we’re looking at at least over 250,000… This will be a new site, not just going over something that’s done so I just don’t know, it’s a lot of money.”

To fund this, the Merritt Tennis Club is applying for various grants as well as holding a fundraiser at the Grand Pub & Grill on June 1, 2024.