While there have been some objections raised, the Rosemount City Council moved ahead this week with plans to build a tennis court complex at Erickson Park.
On Tuesday, the council approved a motion to enter into an agreement with WSB to provide engineering and landscaping architect services for the complex. According to the agreement, the total cost of the professional services should not exceed $69,853.
Parks director Dan Schultz said plans call for the courts to be built where a soccer/lacrosse field currently sits in Erickson Park. The complex will eventually include eight lit tennis courts but the city will construct four this fall.
The city has set aside $250,000 for the project. Additionally Schultz said the city has applied for a United States Tennis Association grant that would contribute another $50,000.
Earlier this year, Rosemount High School athletic director Mike Manning attended a city council work session to voice objections to losing the green field in the park. Manning said the high school regularly uses the field for its programs and its loss would be detrimental to several programs. He said the field is particularly valuable to the high school because it's within walking distance.
He offered some suggestions on other locations to build the courts, including on school property near the current courts.
To get more input on the location, city staff asked for opinions from Mike Goldammer, executive director of the USTA Northern; Mike Hatlen, from Rosemount Area Athletic Association Tennis and Dana Beck, coach of the Rosemount High School tennis program.
Goldammer supported plans to build the courts in Erickson Park. He said the centralized location would equip the city to handle large tournaments which could have a positive economic impact. Hatlen also said additional courts would mean the city could support larger tournament events and he's supportive of more courts in town.
Beck supported Manning's proposal to build the additional tennis courts with lights adjacent to the current high school courts. Beck said the additional courts would be good for the high school and middle school tennis programs and would also mean that Rosemount would have a central location.
Schultz said the parks board feels it's important to place the courts in a community park with easy access, which Erickson Park has.
Bidding for the project will take place this summer and construction will begin in the fall.