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Northgate HS tennis player urges district to build new tennis courts

By Theresa Harrington
Wednesday, September 25th, 2013 at 6:19 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

I received the following e-mail from a Northgate High School tennis player, who would like to see the district build new tennis courts on the campus. She asked me to post the e-mail on my blog to help get the word out about her concerns.

“My name is Shannon Markiewicz and I am a senior at Northgate High school. I have been playing on Varsity for the tennis team for the past four years, and I am surprised at the condition of our courts. Our school fixed the Football/track field as well as all the baseball and softball fields. The baseball and softball fields are now partially destroyed because of the ground squirrels creating homes in the area. Now the school wants to add a pool without any thought about the tennis courts.

The Women’s team of Northgate won DVAL for the past decade (to the best of my knowledge) and possibly longer. Inside and outside of league we have demonstrated our best efforts and are well known for our sportsmanship as well as competitive play. I believe that we deserve new courts. Building new courts would not just make the school appear nicer and help the tennis team, but it will help the community as well. Many people around the area, and outside the area, come to the Northgate courts and enjoy spending their spare time there.

The girls and boys teams have been raising money for the tennis courts, and have paid booster fees and participated in sport activities (5K run) but never received anything back.”

Markiewicz is hoping that the school and community will take notice of the tennis teams’ achievements and help upgrade the tennis courts.

The school board expects to vote tonight on contracts for Northgate’s new aquatic center, which is being funded partially through voter-approved Measure C construction bonds, as well as through the nonprofit Northgate Pride Foundation.

Like all schools in the district, Northgate High was asked for input into its list of projects to be funded through Measure C after the school board voted March 9, 2010 on the ballot language, which included a very general list of the types of projects to be funded.

Northgate was asked to review a list of priorities created after voters approved the 2002 Measure C, according to a 2006 Master Facilities Update. Here is a link to the original list of priorities: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6mS2O1_NKceNEhZamYzeVVkYms/edit?usp=sharing

This list ranks tennis court repairs as a number 2, on a scale of 1-3, while a pool is ranked lower at number 3.

Principal John McMorris submitted the following priorities in response to the above list: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6mS2O1_NKceSm42V09fazVXV00/edit?usp=sharing

This includes a “wish list” with an aquatic center and other items, but no mention of tennis courts. It’s unclear whether students were consulted in the creation of this list.

Here is the final list of Northgate HS projects in the 2010 Measure C facilities plan: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6mS2O1_NKcec2JzNHptZ1VuS3M/edit?usp=sharing

This list does not include a pool or tennis courts. However, it does designate $658,335 for unspecified “technology classroom enhancements.”

Since the Northgate Pride Foundation is helping to fund the aquatic center, it appears that it was able to persuade the district to make this a priority, along with McMorris’ wish list.

The Ygnacio Valley High community is planning to use Measure C funds for a field improvement project even though it wasn’t specifically disclosed to voters. So, it would appear that Northgate could similarly add tennis court upgrades, if enough members of the community believed this should be a priority and if all of its Measure C funding has not already been allocated to other projects.

Do you believe the district should consider replacing Northgate’s tennis courts?

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