EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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April 22, 2013

Committeeman: School needs outside lights for tennis courts, security

Haverhill High tennis teams crippled, school security needs boost


The lack of outdoor lighting exists despite the $31 million renovation done to the school and its campus in recent years. School officials said besides the exterior lighting, they have a list of improvements to the school that will cost an estimated $1 million — even though the official renovation project has been completed.

Haverhill High Athletic Director Tom O’Brien said the school’s tennis program faces an unusual situation. He said the school has three new tennis courts, fewer than you’d find at most area high schools the Hillies play against. The tennis teams started practicing in March and began their season the first week of April.

“At this time of year where it gets dark, some matches do run into dusk and it would be very helpful to have lights,” O’Brien said.

He said matches played at the high school often run longer than expected because when playing against another school there are five individual matches. With just three courts, he has to juggle the playing schedule.

“We play three matches first and have to wait for two of them to finish in order to start the final two matches of the day,” O’Brien said.

He said the high schools the Hillie teams compete against have five courts, allowing matches to finish well before dark.

“More often that not, we do run into a darkness situation,” O’Brien said. “Having two additional courts would be better, but I think it may be more feasible to look at lighting instead of adding two courts. At least we can be sure we’ll get the matches in.

“It’s something we want to work on, although we don’t have any definite plans at this time,” he said about the desire to have lights installed. He said the high school’s three tennis courts were installed as part of the renovations. This is our third season on the new courts.’’

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