Barrington to apply for grant to build pavilion at tennis courts

DEM grant would bring shade structure to courts near BHS

Posted 12/9/19

The town may build a new shade structure at the tennis courts across from the high school.

At the Dec. 2 council meeting, members approved a motion to apply for a grant to build a …

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Barrington to apply for grant to build pavilion at tennis courts

DEM grant would bring shade structure to courts near BHS

Posted

Barrington may build a new shade structure at the tennis courts across from the high school.

At the Dec. 2 council meeting, members approved a motion to apply for a grant to build a 20-foot-by-30-foot pavilion in the middle of the two sets of tennis courts. 

Material for the project is expected to cost about $23,000, and officials are hoping that the total project cost will be less than $60,000. The grant would require a local match of up to $12,000.

In October, the town's Park and Recreation Commission discussed a number of projects that could be made possible through a Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Small Recreation Development Grant. In the end, commission members voted to recommend the shade structure project. 

"The structure would be built over the bleachers — providing users of the facility and spectators relief from the sun," stated a project memo.

Officials at the council meeting said the shade structure would benefit people who were watching tennis matches or young residents who participate in the town's summer recreation tennis program. 

Barrington Town Council member Jacob Brier asked if there was any concern about the project because it was on school property. 

Barrington Director of Planning, Building and Resiliency Phil Hervey was quick to correct that comment, stating that those tennis courts are a town-owned facility. Mr. Hervey said those courts are available to everyone, adding that they are not controlled by the school department. 

Mr. Hervey said the schools have access to the courts, but they are not considered a school facility. Officials believe that if the courts were controlled by the school department, it would hurt the town's grant application.

Mr. Brier also questioned the estimates associated with the project. He said the project cost seemed expensive. Officials said they hoped the cost for labor would be less than their estimate.

Barrington Town Council President Michael Carroll also joked that the town should reach out to former building official Bob Speaker for assistance — Mr. Speaker had constructed a County Road bus stop shelter when he was employed for the town.

Council member Kate Weymouth made a motion to submit the application for the grant, but prior to the vote, a resident approached the microphone and suggested the town instead plant trees between the courts, off-setting the number of trees cut down during the construction of the new middle school. 

Council members told the resident that the shade structure was being planned for the high school not the middle school, but Ms. Weymouth added that the resident's idea was well-intended: Plant more trees.

The council then voted 5-0 to approve the submission of the recreation grant application.

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