Leasiders want local control of tennis courts

Consider it a “court” battle of a different kind.

The public school board is opening up bids for public-private partnerships of many of its tennis courts, including those at Rolph Road Elementary School in Leaside. The board made the move after realizing there was no money to fix courts that had fallen into disrepair.

After hearing “vehement” opposition from parents in the community, Robin Dickie, chair of the Rolph Road Home and School Association, began speaking with parents and came up with an alternative — to raise the money themselves.

“We fundraise quite well at our school,” she said. “[We’d like to] fundraise to the quote the TDSB gave us a year and a half ago, which was about $16,000, to resurface it.

“That’s what our parent community would like to do rather than go public-private.”

Dickie added that the community won’t be resting on its laurels and will start fundraising very soon.

But trustee Gerri Gershon said it’s still early in the process, as the request for proposals recently closed and a report on the proposals won’t be coming to the board until early in the new year. She said she expects that if anything comes of the proposals the community will be involved in the consultation process.

“If any project is going to take place, my community is going to have some good public consultation about it at the appropriate time,” Gershon said.

The Leaside Property Owners Association has also become involved, with co-president Carol Burtin Fripp writing a letter to the school board requesting public space remain for public use.

“We know that the board is a bit short of cash to maintain a lot of their recreational facilities and we sympathize,” she said. “But we don’t think the answer is to sell off or lose control of the public property.”

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Posted: Dec 1 2014 10:32 am
Filed in: NEWS