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Tennis Courts to be Redone

Graphic by Nate Rosen

After 27 years of use, the Staples tennis courts are ready to be replaced. The Westport Parks and Recreation and the Board of Education (BOE) have budgeted $160,000 each to strip and replace the six courts, pending approval by the Board of Finance (BOF) and the Representative Town Meeting (RTM).

BOE chair Elaine Whitney said the courts “have reached the end of their useful life” and that the replacement project will also solve an underlying water problem that was causing many cracks in the current courts.

Members of the tennis teams are hopeful the BOF and the RTM will approve the plan, which was unanimously approved by the BOE.

“There are a lot of dead spots [on the courts], and, when the ball hits the dead spots, it doesn’t bounce, making me lose the point,” Zack Levin ’15 said. “[Replacing the courts] will be good for the tennis team and the town of Westport.”

Baxter Stein ’14 agreed that the courts are not in good condition. “I am very excited [for the replacement],” Stein said. “The courts right now are dangerous and annoying to play on.”

The courts, built in 1986, first began to show “normal wear-and-tear” in 1994 and, in 2006, Hinding Company and M&M Tennis were contracted to repair the courts to prevent the cracks from growing, according to a letter from Dan Devito, Operations Supervisor for Parks and Recreation, to Nancy Harris, Assistant Superintendent for Business.

Whitney is optimistic that the plan will be approved. “It had been in our [budget] for a number of years,” Whitney said. “We can no longer keep repairing them; they need to be replaced.”

The construction plan will begin on July 1 and finish by Labor Day, according to Devito’s letter.

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Bailey Ethier
Bailey Ethier, Editor-in-Chief
Editor-in-Chief Bailey Ethier ’15 has self-described himself in one word as “Texan.” Growing up in Texas, Ethier dreamed of being a professional athlete. Soon enough, however, he realized he didn’t have the athletic ability to do so, and turned to the next best thing, in his opinion: journalism. When he moved to Westport before ninth grade, he decided to join Inklings given the fact that he enjoyed a seventh grade project on sports broadcasting. As a sophomore, Ethier was a Web Opinions Editor, and was then a News Editor as a junior. He is ready to lead Inklings as Editor-in-Chief this year, and is fully committed to the paper. “I absolutely love this paper,” Ethier said. Deeply committed to journalism and hoping to pursue it in the future, Ethier is constantly trying to improve his journalistic skills. This summer, he attended a journalism program at Columbia University in New York City. He then headed to Texas for his eighth year at Camp Champions summer camp in Marble Falls, Texas, completing a three year senior camper program. During his senior camper program, he learned many valuable lessons, including how to lead by example. He hopes to carry his leadership at camp to Inklings this coming year. Ultimately, Ethier hopes to accomplish much during his final year on Inklings. “When people think of highly acclaimed newspapers, I want them to think of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Inklings.”

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