Berlin Celebrates New Tennis Courts

Berlin Celebrates New Tennis Courts
Berlin's tennis courts are pictured. File Photo by Charlene Sharpe

BERLIN — Residents and town officials celebrated the long-awaited completion of new tennis courts at Stephen Decatur Park with a ribbon cutting on Saturday.

Berlin residents and members of the town’s parks commission joined Mayor Gee Williams on a blustery fall day to formally acknowledge the bright new tennis courts now open to park visitors. They replace the decades-old, cracked and weedy courts previously in the space.

“This is a very happy day for the town,” Williams said.

Berlin-tennis1-150x150.jpgTown officials have been working to replace the tennis courts at Stephen Decatur Park since 2014. Though the town received a $215,000 Community Parks and Playgrounds Program grant from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources three years ago, the project hit several roadblocks during the past few years. Initially, court replacement costs went up significantly when crews discovered there was a 10-inch layer of asphalt under the existing courts. Though it took some time, town officials were able to lower the cost of the project by breaking it up into various pieces. The town also acquired an additional grant, $20,000 from Program Open Space, to help with the project.

Costs again increased this spring, however, as engineers determined that drainage improvements would be needed to keep the courts from cracking. Once that work was complete, asphalt was installed and surfaced this summer, bringing the project’s final price tag to more than $300,000.

Williams credited the town council with supporting the project through its completion.

“The more we got into this project the more complicated it got, but it never deterred anybody who was working on it,” he said.

He also thanked the Berlin Parks Commission and Mary Bohlen, the town’s administrative services director, for spearheading the effort.

Bohlen expressed appreciation for Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources for the grant funding that made the tennis court replacement possible.

“It absolutely could not have been done without that,” she said.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.