By Ainsley Trunkhill / Managing Editor of Content
For years, the cracked and corroded tennis courts have stood at the center of Hutchinson Community College’s campus, predominantly serving as a shortcut for students to get to class. Students and staff have long debated the future of the space, with suggestions ranging from a fishing spot to complete demolition. This semester, however, with construction in progress, the tennis courts will get a definitive new look.
The tennis court renovation is the first step in a two-part project, with a renovation to the Parker Student Union Courtyard planned for this summer.
Julie Blanton, HutchCC’s Vice President of Finance and Operations, said HutchCC’s new look will cost the college $1,810,000, with the bid received from Prairie Landworks, Inc.
“I think it will be a great addition to campus,” said Bostyn Castor, a current HutchCC student who will be here next year for the completed project. “From what I’ve heard, it sounds like we will have access to a space that will be beneficial to both our education while also giving us more time on campus.”
With the bulk of the design being composed of an outdoor classroom and green space, these benefits serve as the goal of the courts’ initiative. In addition to the large, amphitheater classroom, there will also be pickleball courts, a 9-square court, and a gaga ball pit, all intended as recreation sites for students. Beyond recreation, teachers can also reserve the space for class, student groups can host meetings, and the theater department can present outdoor performances.
“It will be a fun place to interact with other students,” Castor said.
Don Rose, the Director of Facilities at HutchCC, says that the project is expected to be completed around the end of July.
Currently, the construction has finished demolition and foundational steps, such as underground utilities, prep work, and footings for the structures. As construction continues on, in the next few months the promised student hub will surface.
“I think it is going very well,” Rose said.
With temperatures rising, students, teachers, and the public alike, can anticipate a new center of activity as summer comes around the corner.