Mehlville tennis complex construction begins

Ground was broken last week for the Mehlville School District’s new tennis complex, which will be constructed in front of Bernard Middle School on Forder Road.

The complex will have eight tennis courts and serve as the home for the Mehlville and Oakville High School tennis teams.

The tennis complex is being built under U.S. Tennis Association, or USTA, guidelines, and four of the courts will have additional markings for junior play.

Grants from the USTA and the USTA Missouri Valley are helping make the tennis complex construction possible.

“The addition of these tennis courts will allow us to fully support our extracurricular tennis program and to host MSHSAA sponsored matches inside the district,” Mehlville Superintendent Eric Knost stated in a news release. “There will no longer be a need to rent facilities for our practices and students can be proud of the facility their schools have to offer.”

Roughly $80,000 in grants and rebates will keep the district’s costs for this project below the allotted budget of $450,000, which also includes 10-foot-tall fencing around the courts and extensive sewer work beneath the complex.

The court surfaces will be painted blue with the paved area surrounding the courts painted green.

Board of Education President Venki Palamand stated in the release, “These new courts will not only benefit students, but the many residents of Oakville and Mehlville who enjoy playing tennis and staying active.

“Providing students extracurricular opportunities such as tennis, football, band, choir, theater, et cetera, is a proven way to keep them engaged in school and interested in academics,” Palamand continued.

Because the paint used on the court surfaces needs seven straight days of temperatures more than 50 degrees to dry, completion of the complex is not expected to happen until next spring.