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School Board votes to demolish tennis courts

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Posted: Tuesday, June 4, 2013 9:39 pm | Updated: 10:20 am, Wed Aug 21, 2013.

SARASOTA-- The battle off the court to save the courts has reached its conclusion.

On Tuesday night, Sarasota County School Board members voted 5-0 to move forward with plans to demolish the eight tennis courts at Sarasota High School. A new bus loop drop off will go in its place and will open when school starts next year. It's part of a $40 million renovation project at the school.

"It was all about safety and security for our students. We really need an additional bus loop," said School Board Chairman Jane Goodwin.

Over the past few months, the news of demolishing the courts has been met with sharp criticism from hundreds of Sarasota residents. Since the 1970's the courts have been open to the public. On Tuesday afternoon, 836 people had signed a petition urging the School Board not to move forward with plans. Many of them asked school officials to look at other options. However, it would have cost the District even more money to explore those options or relocate the courts.

"It appears the School Board is out of touch with the public. We elect them to be the interface between citizens and the school system," said Sarasota resident Mike Lasche.

To appease those disappointed by the vote, school leaders did announce plans to reopen four tennis courts at Brookside Middle School, located about two miles from Sarasota High.

"We appreciate everyone who came out. Everybody was heard. We did hear the community loudly, but we feel we made the right decision," Goodwin said.

It still remains unclear where the Sarasota High School tennis team will practice and hold matches next year. Two options include Brookside Middle and the courts at Payne Park. In the end, it will be a decision left up to the school's athletic department.

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  • Target4Tyrants posted at 1:08 pm on Wed, Jun 5, 2013.

    Target4Tyrants Posts: 7

    Does anybody care that we just spent $170,000,000.00 + dollars on the Sarasota High School facility & now they are spending ATLEAST $40,000,000.00 more dollars to do a simple bus loop addition? We should be having a discussion about how mismanaged the planning was for the facility and start firing people until we get compitent leadership that will represent the citizens needs & wants.
    The school board does not care what they take away from the people.

    What about what is best for students? They make it out to be no big deal that they are destroying tennis courts that provide our obese leaning community fun, physical activities during/after long school hours where they sit all day.
    Could they not put it anywhere else on that monstrous facility?
    I don't see any plans to replace the tennis courts. Why not tack on another 20 million dollars and build 8 tennis courts somewhere else? Money doesn't seem to be an issue with the school board.

    Stop voting incumbents. They are proven failures~

  • canary posted at 12:11 pm on Wed, Jun 5, 2013.

    canary Posts: 4

    Once a government entity has your money they don't care how you think or feel about what they do with it. They had a plan, they were implementing it and those pesky citizens thought they had a lawful say. Get used to more and more of this behavior patterned after the fed's actions. You are strictly a donor organ nothing more to them. If they could find a way to resell you to another agency they would be in for that.