Game on! Outside grant paves way for city to fix McCarren courts

Game on! Outside grant paves way for city to fix McCarren courts
Community Newspaper Group / Aaron Short

Game. Set. Resurface!

McCarren Park’s pockmarked tennis courts will soon gain a brand new sheen, thanks to the United States Tennis Association and American Express.

The $50,000 grant will allow the Parks Department to refurbish six full-sized courts and construct two new half-sized courts for the association’s “QuickStart” play format for children.

“This is a tremendous example of our partners giving back to communities that support tennis,” said USTA President Lucy Garvin.

Greenpoint is certainly that. The grant announcement comes on the heels of McCarren Park Tennis’ exhaustive volunteer effort to resurface one of the park’s courts this May. The group raised $4,500 over the past year and laid down the asphalt and paint on the courts by hand, shaming the Parks Department, which let the courts fall into disrepair for years.

The USTA said in a statement that it was inspired by the volunteers in deciding where to make its three grants this year.

McCarren Tennis’ Sean Hoess has been working with the USTA for much of the past year, but said that recent media attention got the issue on the forefront of its radar.

“When they told me they awarded the grant, they said they picked us because we were so active and involved,” said Hoess. “They knew we resurfaced the court with our own sweat and money, and they wanted to reward the organizations that are the most active.”

The renovation efforts are scheduled to begin in late August, and would take about 20 days. The timeline will depend on the Parks Department’s schedule, but Hoess believes that tennis players will still have a month or two of play on the new courts before the weather becomes too cold.

Williamsburg tennis players are ecstatic about the court’s refurbishment and construction of two half courts for young athletes.

“[McCarren Tennis] has been together only a year,” said Jessica Glorieux. “That was the intention of the group, getting those courts taken care of because they haven’t been touched for 20 years. They needed some attention and affection.”

When asked why the Parks Department allowed the courts to decline in condition so badly, an agency spokesman merely said, “We did not have capital funds in our budget allocated for court restorations.”