Sand volleyball courts approved for Glen Park in Portsmouth

Recreation director hopes program begins this summer

By Jim McGaw
Posted 3/10/20

PORTSMOUTH — The Town Council Monday unanimously approved request from the Parks and Recreation Commission and SURGE Volleyball to build two sand volleyball courts at the town-owned park …

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Sand volleyball courts approved for Glen Park in Portsmouth

Recreation director hopes program begins this summer

Posted

PORTSMOUTH — The Town Council Monday unanimously approved a request from the Parks and Recreation Commission and SURGE Volleyball to build two sand volleyball courts at the town-owned park off Glen Road.

Recreation Director Wendy Bulk said she’d like to see the program established by this summer as part of its collaboration with SURGE on developmental and “Learn to Pay” programs in town.

“Just like basketball, baseball, soccer, and many other sports, the establishment of a feeder program is vital to the success of the high school program,” Ms. Bulk told the council. “The programs will provide players the opportunity to learn basic volleyball fundamentals and skills while also developing a passion for the game.”

Suzanne Mirisola, director/coach at SURGE, said the organization has held several local clinics with more scheduled for the near future, including an August camp to prepare athletes for volleyball tryouts for fall sports. SURGE also hopes to start a sand volleyball league for females and males, she said.

According to SURGE, it’s difficult to find public volleyball courts in the local area. “We think it’s underrepresented in the community,” Ms. Mirisola said, adding that it can also be financially prohibitive for many families.

“Volleyball can be expensive to play. We really want to keep the cost down, and that’s why we wanted to do this in conjunction with parks and rec,” she said.

Town Administrator Richard Rainer, Jr. said he supported the proposal and that “there’s a ton of interest” in it. The cost of two courts would be about $35,000, he said. SURGE will raise the money and the town would pay half — $17,500 — which is available in the budget, he said.

Ms. Bulk estimated if 32 people registered for league play, the recreation department would collect about $3,500 annually, plus $2,900 for court rentals. (Everything would need to be scheduled through the recreation department.) After expenses, the program could clear about $2,000, she said.

Where would it be?

The only question is the exact location of the two courts at Glen Park. SURGE’s preferred spot is near the soccer fields, next to the trees on the east side of the stone wall. The courts would not replace a soccer field, however, according to Mr. Rainer.

Another possible location is just inside the park to the right — just south of the main grass parking lot and north of the riding rink. Another option would be to locate the courts near the tractor pull area.

“We would work with all the stakeholders of the park to find an appropriate site,” Mr. Rainer said.

According to SURGE, the courts would incorporate a space of about 96 feet by 84 feet in area. 

Now that it has council approval, SURGE hopes to start building the courts at the start of April and completing them by the end of the month.

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