Downtown tennis courts reopen in Palmer

Ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Friday to mark the official reopening
President of the Mat-Su Tennis Association Susan Brunner said it’s been almost 18 months since the project to rehabilitate the courts began.
Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 6:51 PM AKDT
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PALMER, Alaska (KTUU) - Residents of Palmer have likely noticed the construction in recent months on the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Gulkana Street, as the Bill Hermann tennis courts were ripped up and redone.

President of the Mat-Su Tennis Association Susan Brunner said it’s been almost 18 months since the project to rehabilitate the courts began.

“There were courts established here, you know, sometime in the late 70′s or 80′s,” Brunner said. “They were in horrible condition.”

According to Brunner, the courts haven’t been refurbished in over 40 years. Tree growth, divots, and cracks filled with tar were beginning to cause safety concerns.

“Kids were turning ankles, the ball would hit the line and the line would actually fly up into the air so there was never any question of if the ball was in or out,” Brunner said.

The deteriorated surface of the courts is precisely why over a year ago the Wasilla Sunrise Rotary Club and the Rotary Club of Palmer decided to take on the project of completely reconstructing the courts. From there the community started coming together, including a number of grant donations.

“Then Mat-Su Tennis (Association), you know, sort of took over the initiative of making it happen,” Brunner recalled. “We’ve gotten a grant from MEA, we’ve gotten a grant from Valley Board of Realtors, personal donations. It just started growing in the community and people saying ‘yeah, that’s a good project, we want to be part of it.’”

Because the tennis courts are also used by Palmer High School contributions to the construction costs were also provided by the city of Palmer and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Friday evening to officially mark the reopening of the courts to the public.

The courts are open daily and are free to use from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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