Homewood schools referendum gets 80 percent approval

Midwestern weather has caused so much damage that the outdoor tennis courts at Orchard Park will be rebuilt, but the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District board decided the courts at Apollo Park will be repurposed.

The park district has 32 outdoor courts, including those at Homewood-Flossmoor High School. At its meeting Tuesday, April 5, board members didn’t believe reducing that number by two would cause any hardship for tennis players.

Park staff has found the tennis courts at Apollo are little used, but kids in the area are using the courts for other sports.  Board members talked through a variety of other uses for the tennis courts, but their proximity to parking lots limited the options for safety reasons.

Member Steve Johnson suggested the courts be converted to batting cages. Homewood Baseball and Softball uses the five ball fields at Apollo for games. Doug Boehm, superintendent of parks and planning, said he wasn’t sure if the tennis court surface could remain in a batting cage. He will investigate the conversion costs.

The projected cost to dig out and replace the courts at Orchard Park, 1701 Olive Rd. in Homewood, will be at least $60,000. Boehm said the site may have to be raised to reduce the water runoff and mud that rolls down into the courts.

Boehm said resealing and other basic maintenance at the district’s tennis courts is an ongoing issue for crews. It is practical to fill the cracks, but after a tough winter a minor crack can become a major issue.

In other business, the board agreed to new Friday hours at the Racquet Club. Starting June 4, when the club converts to summer hours, the facility will be open from 5 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday; 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday; and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

The racquet club’s Friday hours have been 5 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. but the board agreed to move closing to 9 p.m. on a trial basis. 

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