BY DYKE HENDRICKSON STAFF WRITER
Newburyport Daily News
---- — NEWBURYPORT — The Newburyport Parks Commission recently won a grant from the U.S. Tennis Association that board members say will enable them to make significant improvements to the tennis courts at Atkinson Common.
There are three courts at Atkinson Common, which are used in season by the Newburyport High School tennis teams as well as recreational players.
City officials say that the courts need resurfacing and other improvements.
The USTA is a national organization that supports youth tennis, among other endeavors. It is developing a program called 10-And-Under Tennis and part of its grant will be used to paint lines that will enable youngsters to play on a smaller court.
Local park officials estimate the budget for the project will be about $30,000. The USTA is funding about $6,500.
The department received financial commitments from other institutions as well. The Mayor Gayden W. Morrill Charitable Foundation has earmarked $10,000 and Marc de Kanter of Newburyport Community Tennis Association has pledged $5,000.
The remainder will be funded by other sources, including the municipal budget and general parks donations.
“Grants have been essential in making this project happen,” said parks administrator Lise Reid, who added securing the grants has been a joint effort between Kanter, parks commissioners, Atkinson Common officers and the specialists at the USTA.
Reid said the project will be put out to bid this fall, with construction scheduled for next June.
The Parks Commission also obtained a grant to help make improvements at Joppa Park off Water Street. The Morrill Charitable Foundation paid for installation of a bollard and chain fence and the rose hedge recently planted at the roadside on Water Street.