Daniel Chi / Asst. photo editor
The RPAC will be adding four new outdoor recreation courts this spring at an estimated cost of more than $320,000.
The Department of Recreational Sports is building two new outdoor basketball courts and two sand volleyball courts on the RPAC’s northwest lawn. The project, which is expected to be completed by May 17, will replace the former Cannon Drive basketball courts.
Dave DeAngelo, the department’s senior associate director of facilities, said the opportunity to construct the new courts came when the university began upgrading the campus steam and condensate system.
“The two Cannon Drive basketball courts across from the towers were going to have to be destroyed as part of the steam line project, so we decided it would be great to relocate in front of the RPAC,” DeAngelo said.
The Board of Trustees approved the steam distribution lines upgrade in August, with estimated project costs totaling $20.3 million, according to meeting minutes. DeAngelo said the RPAC had money in reserves to be able to provide additional financial support to complete the courts as well.
“This is just one small part of the bigger steam line project,” DeAngelo said. “We contributed around $100,000 for the basketball courts, and then the volleyball courts were around $223,000.”
DeAngelo said the project will not disturb any of the other facilities and courts outside of the RPAC but will share some of the same lights as the tennis courts. He added the courts will likely have a push-button system for lights so students can still play when it is dark outside.
Coltin Balser, a first-year in biology and Morrill Tower resident, said the construction has been a little inconvenient but likes the location of the new courts.
“We do use the tennis courts (outside of the RPAC) a lot, so I think having something like that so close to a primarily freshman dorm is a good idea and will get a lot of use,” Balser said.
DeAngelo said other than for special events such as Welcome Week activities, the courts will be completely available for students to use at their discretion.
“We aren’t going to reserve the courts for anything,” DeAngelo said. “It’s just so convenient to have them right here and not have to go out to Fred Beekman Park or North Campus.”
Rachel Garcia, a second-year in human development and family science and Morrill Tower resident, said she does not plan on using the courts.
“I think they will be pretty popular with students, especially those who live nearby, and a good use of space,” Garcia said. “I do wonder though how the courts will be affected during football season.”