Five tennis courts in Collinsville will undergo total reconstruction with the help of a grant from the Metro East Park and Recreation District.
The Collinsville Area Recreation District will receive a $68,900 grant from the Trail Grant Matching Program. The funding is 25 percent of the total cost of the tennis court reconstruction and the maximum amount allowed through the grant. The total cost of the project is $275,600 and includes guttering and restructuring the five courts at Glidden Park at 398 Branch Street. The project is expected to go out for bid in January with construction beginning in the spring.
"I have long thought that the Metro East Park and Recreation District was an untapped resource long ignored by our district for some reason," said C.A.R.D. Board of Commissions president Andrew Carruthers. "Our ability to secure this funding shows how cultivating relationships with other units of government pays off and lessens our dependence on property taxes."
Terry Wilson, executive director of C.A.R.D., was able to acquire the grant, according to Carruthers.
"Terry's grant writing experience was one of the many reasons (the board) hired him this summer and his focus on improving our existing parks is part of the new direction for the park district," Carruthers added.
The tennis courts have been in such poor condition they have been unusable.
"For years, the public has asked that something be done to make the tennis courts playable," Wilson said. "C.A.R.D. even holds its own tennis camps at the high school because its courts are in such disrepair. C.A.R.D. is finally putting money back into the city parks, which is where the money should've been going all along."