Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Commissioner Ed Lambert joined elected officials and area youth to officially cut the ribbon on the new tennis courts at Constitution Beach last Wednesday.
DCR’s $300,000 project demolished and replaced the two tennis courts at the beach with a new three tennis court facility. The project also installed new landscaping, new fencing, improved site drainage and added more trees for shade.
“This is your beach and your park,” said Lambert to the group of Eastie youth participating in this year’s summer tennis program, Tenacity. “So it’s a pleasure to be here to celebrate this beautiful new facility that is in a great location.”
The project has improved user experience, safety, accessibility while accommodating increased user demands. It also corrected a longstanding problem with drainage on the courts with an improved system.
Work on the three-month project to replace the courts began in the spring and was finished during the first week of July.
There was some concern that the courts would not be ready in time for Tenacity, the successful free youth program that tutors area kids in reading and tennis. Tennacity usually begins the second week in July and runs until August but the program was able to use the beach’s basketball and handball courts across the street while construction wrapped up in early July.
Tenacity’s Vice President Scott Staniar said that the new courts in Eastie are now some of the best in the city.
“These new courts have really improved the Tenacity experience for the kids in East Boston,” said Staniar. “I travel all over Boston to our different sites and this site by far, with its proximity to the beach and parks, is one of the nicest.”
When the project was first pitched to the community, concerns from residents included the need for more safety and security at the tennis courts. Historically, the courts have been used during the summer as a meeting place for teens. Sometimes the groups of teens that congregate at the beach at night can be unruly.
Lambert touched on this subject Wednesday and said the State Police have assured him that if any problems at the courts this summer should arise they would be ready to respond and stifle any threat to the quality of life for residents in the area.
The courts were flagged by DCR as needing resurfacing back in 2006. DCR sought guidance from the United States Tennis Association on design and orientation of the proposed new courts.
In March, the DCR presented its changes to the beach courts to the Boston Conservation Commission and began permitting the project.