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Libby Community Tennis Court repairs completed

by HAYDEN BLACKFORD
Daily Inter Lake | October 14, 2022 12:00 AM

Former tennis coach and president of the non-profit U Serve Libby, Dave Nelson, contracted Arrow Construction from Spokane, Washington, and repaired the six community courts near City Hall with $12,000 in funding from the LOR Foundation.

The LOR Foundation is a philanthropic organization that spends several years in different rural towns across the U.S. LOR offers grant funding for projects during their stay. The foundation began to help out the community of Libby earlier this year.

"Now the courts are ready for next season,” Tabitha Viergutz, the Libby Community Officer for LOR said in a recent interview.

The courts were previously cracked and peeling, but after the grant from LOR funded repairs for the courts in September they are now open again to the public for pickle ball and tennis. The Libby High School also uses the tennis courts to train for school competitions.

“We’ve had some top players,” Nelson said, adding that Libby's Ryan Beagle placed third at state last season.

The newly repaired tennis courts are used for pickle ball tournaments and the occasional tennis tournament for students, Nelson said. He noted the difficulty faced by students from Libby, who compete with schools that can play indoors year-round.

Pickle ball has become one of the fastest growing sports in the U.S, Nelson explained, and seeing the community using the courts to play the emerging sport is a common sight.

Having been constructed after U Serve Libby raised nearly $180,000 in 2008, the courts require regular maintenance. Due to normal wear and tear, the community courts will eventually need to be resurfaced fully, and this project could cost over $30,000, Nelson said.

The recent repairs used money from LOR's $12,000 grant, which paid to repair cracks in the court surfaces and keep them from peeling. The financial aid means that U Serve Libby can save money they have been setting aside to do the replacement themselves.

U Serve Libby has been saving money for when the tennis courts will require being fully resurfaced, as opposed to repaired, Nelson said. An inter-local-courts agreement between the county, city and schools that helps pay for the maintenance fees, Nelson said.

“They’re some of the nicest courts in the state,” Nelson said of the repairs.