Dorm tennis courts go the way of the Dodo

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    By Sarah Nelson

    Students who use the Helaman Halls tennis courts will have to find a new place to practice their backhand.

    The courts will be torn down this week to make room for the new baseball and softball fields under construction, said Craig Lybhert, construction project coordinator for BYU.

    “The courts are 30 years old and because of their age they are in poor condition,” said Bruce Holly, from Health and Human Performance Services.

    The cement is crumbling and the shifting of the earth over the years has caused some trip hazards along the baseline.

    They are not official courts. They are too deep in the center and they have too much of a grade, he said.

    Our concern is providing students with a place where they can play on a quality surface that is safe and not pocked.

    “The Smith Field House courts are official courts and are maintained to specific standards. They are high quality,” Holly said.

    Holly doesn’t anticipate a problem with students being able to find a court to play on.

    The Smith Field House currently has 14 outdoor courts and the plan is to add six to eight new courts to the facility later Holly said.

    Students have expressed concern at the loss of the courts.

    “The Helaman Halls courts were close and convenient. A good alternative to having to go to the Fieldhouse and make reservations,” said Eric Nelson, 23, a senior from Layton, Davis County, majoring in management information systems.

    The Helaman courts are usually not crowded like the Fieldhouse courts, Nelson said.

    “It was fun to have something so close to the dorms,” said Michelle Louis, 19, a sophomore from Ontario, Calif, with an open major.

    The courts didn’t have lights so we couldn’t play at night, but for casual play the courts are fine, Louis said.

    As a result of tearing out the courts, the new field will provide an official field for the women’s softball team where they haven’t had one before, Holly said.

    Additionally, the field will have lights so students will be able to watch the games in the evenings and BYU will be able to host tournaments he said.

    Construction has started and the field should be completed by next spring, Holly said.

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