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Flushing tennis courts to be overhauled – QNS.com

Flushing tennis courts to be overhauled

The phone call from Dr. Ron Lehenbauer certainly piqued Councilmember John Liu's interest. Lehenbauer, a longtime Flushing resident and tennis player at the Flushing Memorial Fields, called Liu to see if an upgrade at the ill-kept courts was possible. Lehenbauer had already contacted the New York City Parks Department, who had already made temporary repairs in the past, and several other public officials without success.
When Liu visited the courts last summer, it struck a nerve with him. &#8220I reminisced back to that day when I was a teenager playing on the very same courts, and the conditions weren't great back then,” he said.
But now, Liu said, there is something that can be done. He secured $975,000 in the 2006-07 fiscal budget that has been sent to the Parks Department to give the local tennis courts a complete reconstruction. The entire surface, with cracks dotting the eight courts and the original playing surface all but disintegrated, will be lifted and replaced by all-weather hard courts. The sagging and drooping nets will also be no more, replaced by sturdier regulation ones.
The Parks Department is currently in the process of planning the transformation. Residents will keep access to the courts, which require city tennis permits to play on, until construction begins, which will last anywhere from eight months to two years, said Eric Goetz, Parks Department Manager for Community Board 6 and 7. &#8220It's important,” he said. &#8220People are paying for permits. They should have good courts to play on.”
Thanking Liu for his part, Lehenbauer was excited for the future of the courts. &#8220You look at the other city courts and they are being pretty well maintained,” he said. &#8220This has been let go.
After taking part in a short game, Liu, recalling his youth, steadfastly agreed. &#8220You don't know where the ball is going to bounce and that's a problem,” he said. &#8220You think you're going to hit a forehand [and] when it takes a bad bounce, you're going to have to switch quickly to a backhand…. These are courts used by people of all ages throughout the community.

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