Canal Winchester plans to have at least two new public tennis courts built by the end of the year, ending years of difficulties for the high school in fielding a tennis team.

Canal Winchester plans to have at least two new public tennis courts built by the end of the year, ending years of difficulties for the high school in fielding a tennis team.

The Canal Winchester Local School District and the city are partnering on the project. The city plans to spend a maximum of $80,000 on construction of the courts, which will be built just north of the high school on Washington Street on land donated by the school board.

Over the past decade, the city and schools have discussed the community's desire for tennis courts that would be available for both high school athletics and community use, according to Mayor Michael Ebert and school board President Debra Waites.

In recent years, when enough students were able to form a high school tennis team, the district had to borrow Groveport Madison High School's tennis courts for practice and matches.

"The desire for tennis courts was one of the issues brought up in the community survey," Ebert said. "This has been a back-and-forth discussion for years now and with the recent financial issues, it would be difficult, or impossible, for the schools to afford building these alone.

"Likewise, (the city) just didn't have a good location or the money to buy a good location, so this was a win-win partnership for us both," he said.

Waites agreed, saying that the school district is very excited for the project to get started.

"Tennis courts have been discussed for over 10 years here, so with the school able to donate the land and the city able to pay for all of the construction and maintenance -- well, it's a win-win situation for us," Waites said. "The students will have use of the courts during the school day and for tennis team practices and matches, while the public will be able to use them the rest of the time."

The tennis courts will be built on the old school bus corral, just north of the high school on Washington Street. According to Ebert, the space should be economically advantageous due to the current site grading and foundation, which he said should require less earth-moving in the construction process than another location might have required.

"We put $80,000 in the 2011 budget to construct at least two tennis courts before we knew we had a site," Ebert said. "Due to the location the school donated, if we have minimal groundwork, we may be able to afford three courts."

The city expects to publish a request for proposals in the next month to choose a contractor to construct the courts, Ebert said. A maintenance agreement and shared scheduling have not been finalized with the district.

Waites said there will be no school money spent on the courts.

"We've got an operational levy on the ballot for a November vote," she said. "There's no money for a project like this, so we're lucky to have (the city)."

Ebert said construction is expected to start in September and be completed before the end of the year.