By Courtney Dentch
The renovated basketball and tennis courts at St. Albans Park were officially opened for play Tuesday, just in time for summer.
In addition to the new courts, which were replaced and sealed for all-weather play, renovations include construction of a new drainage system, paths, benches and bleachers, the planting of new lawns and greenery and the installation of pull-up and parallel bars.
The work was funded by $900,000 in city council money, secured by former Councilman Archie Spigner, who lives near the park and visits it often, he said.
The renovations were aimed at making the park more inviting to residents as well as battling the chronic flooding that could have made the courts unusable, Spigner said.
“It was totally unacceptable,” he said Tuesday. “The park was rutted, flooded, and yet they played in it. It was a well-used park in spite of the conditions.”
The project, which broke ground in August 2002, was completed in April, but community and Parks Department leaders gathered Tuesday to dedicated the park.
Kim Long, of St. Albans, has been playing tennis with her mother nearly every day since she discovered the new court, she said.
“It's much better,” Long said. “No one could even play here. It was all full of water and the concrete was cracked. You could really tell it was 30 years old.”