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Frontier requests money to repair tennis courts

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Before cracks split and splinter the tennis courts at Frontier Regional School and render them unsafe and unusable, the Frontier Regional School Committee is requesting $32,999 in Community Preservation Act money from its four feeder towns to repair the community recreation spot.

Superintendent Martha Barrett said the School Committee has requests before the town Community Preservation Committees in Deerfield, Whately, Conway and Sunderland.

The School Committee is requesting $4,455 from Conway, $15,345 from Deerfield, $4,748 from Whately and $8,451 from Sunderland. To determine each town’s share, the school district divided the cost using the formula based on enrollment, Barrett said.

If the town committees approve the school’s requests, they will go before voters at annual town meetings for final approval.

Three years ago, the school repaired some of the cracks in the courts. Since that time, new cracks have developed.

Barrett said she is trying every avenue possible to secure funding for the project.

“If they aren’t repaired rather quickly in the next year or two, they will be rendered unsafe to play on,” Barrett said. “My fear is if we don’t have it repaired soon, we’ll have to padlock it and not allow anyone to play.”

The tennis courts are used by the Deerfield summer recreation program, for gym classes at Frontier and by community members.

The Frontier tennis team, which Barrett’s husband coaches, uses the courts from March to June.

“It’s used a great deal,” Barrett said. “As long as physical education classes are not using it, the community is free to use it.”

Since its adoption in 2000, Community Preservation Act money has been used for historic preservation, open space and community housing projects. Last year, the state allowed CPA funds to also be used for recreation projects, like the tennis courts. The CPA Fund is supported by a surtax on local property taxes.

Last year, the Frontier Regional School Committee requested funding from the four towns for the project. It was one of several controversial capital projects the towns did not want to pay for with such short notice. Barrett requested funds from Deerfield and Sunderland last spring, but Deerfield town leaders asked the School Committee to request money from all four towns.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at: kmckiernan@recorder.com or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.

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