To the Editors:

The current proposal to fund the replacement of the Wilton High School tennis courts is well-researched, overdue and good for the community.

As an avid player, I’ve played on the courts many times over the past 17 years and every year a new set of larger and larger cracks appears. The town fills the cracks enough to (hopefully) prevent injuries and does its best to cover the cracks with paint, but the playability of the courts suffers and the town is throwing away money by constantly trying to repair an ever-expanding problem. Even with the efforts to fill the cracks it’s never enough. I played at the high school yesterday and one of the areas where two cracks came together left a big divot where a chunk of the court had popped out. On a few occasions this spring I’ve played at the New Canaan High School courts (which were recently redone using Wilton’s proposed surface of post-tension concrete) and they were significantly more playable than the Wilton courts and looked beautiful. Making the switch from asphalt to post-tension concrete isn’t just a matter of making the courts more enjoyable to play on, it will save the town money by significantly reducing the cost to maintain the courts each year.

While I was disappointed to see the project scope reduced to only address the high school courts and not deal with the same issues facing the Middlebrook courts, I recognize that short-term financial pressures forced such concessions. I do hope that Middlebrook can be addressed in future years, both to manage the ongoing cost to continually fill the cracks and deal with the potential safety issues that are inherent in playing in courts with such deep cracks (our high school’s junior varsity teams have to play there every day), but also to ensure we have enough playable courts in town. There have been many times where I’ve tried to play at the high school only to find the courts full. Yesterday, in just 45 minutes I saw three different groups arrive and not have a court available as all eight courts were being used.

Although Wilton isn’t a town with as many public amenities as some of our neighboring towns, we take pride in the public facilities we do have. The high school courts provide a service to all residents, not just students and are located in a very visible place as people drive through town on Route 7. I think it’s important to support the funding required to bring these facilities up to date and make sure they are a valued, and safe, resource for our town.
Raj Wadehra
Kings Lane, April 24