Construction of two new platform tennis courts in River Forest will move ahead now that village trustees on Nov. 7 unanimously approved a minor change to the park district’s planned development permit for Keystone Park.

If all goes as anticipated, the park district will have the new courts ready for use by July.

“We are happy with that and are looking forward to moving ahead,” said park district Executive Director Mike Sletten. 

The park district, which has been considering the project for 18 months, will have specifications ready by after Christmas and sent out in early January, said Sletten.

Bids will be opened on Feb. 9; a contract will be awarded the following week.

Construction is expected to start in April, as soon as the weather is good. The effort also will include removal of a tennis court.

Approximately $340,000 has been budgeted for the project, but the exact cost will not be known until the bids come back, Sletten said.

According to information provided by the park district, platform tennis is played on an elevated 60-by-30-foot court surrounded by a 12-foot fence, which is considered in play. The net is lower than a traditional tennis net and it’s played with a solid paddle and de-pressurized ball. 

Two courts were constructed three years ago, but interest in the sport prompted the park district to look at building new courts. Once they are ready, the new courts will accommodate a membership that could top as many as 250, Sletten said. 

Cost of the new facilities will be borne by the membership fees. Annual fees will remain at $183 and cover the capital and operating costs associated with the program, Sletten added. Only members can use the courts.

The project originally intended to include a shelter, but the exorbitant cost prompted commissioners to table the matter for a later date. There is no date certain on when or if that amenity will be revisited by park district commissioners, Sletten said. 

Deborah Kadin

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