Master Site Plan Regarding the Waterfront Tennis Court

07.27.2023 By CC4G
Master Site Plan Regarding the Waterfront Tennis Court

The board and master site plan committee recently received feedback about some community concern regarding the front tennis court and wanted to be responsive.  The question and answer below will be added as an update to the April 20, 2023 post of Clearwater’s Site Plan: Community Questions & Responses that was shared with the community to respond to questions that arose from the March 2023 community meetings about the Master Site Plan.


Q: Why are you taking away the front tennis court?

As with our top-quality water sports program, Clearwater campers and families expect a top-quality land sports program, as well as variety of other sports that require special courts like tennis, pickleball, basketball, etc. To meet this demand and to remain relevant to today’s campers, Clearwater will replace the front tennis court with a “front lawn/living room” on the waterfront, replace the back tennis court with additional green space for a variety of activities, and we will build multipurpose sports courts and a ropes course in the woods above our current archery range. Based upon feedback provided as far back as 2019 from current staff, campers, and other community members, we are responding to the need for better courts and more space for sports like soccer and volleyball. In addition, combining the two courts will make holding tennis classes and tournaments more efficient.

The new “front lawn/living room” will be a flexible green space, utilized for plays, classes, small and large group gatherings, and mobile sporting activities like badminton, volleyball, etc. Our creative staff and campers will utilize this new flexible “front lawn/living room” in ways that none of us have imagined. As the waterfront tennis court has not been available for tennis play for the last three years, we have observed campers using the space in new ways that has shown us the importance of making this space more flexible and usable for our campers’ interests and activities. Campers who are not tennis players will have more opportunities to enjoy all the waterfront; and it opens the view of the lake to all. Traditional “Tennis Court” Suppers will still be held on the waterfront area.

Perhaps the most significant factors to this decision are the environmental, operational, and financial challenges in maintaining the current tennis courts. Much like a highway, a tennis court can only be repaved so many times before the entire structure must be excavated, removed, and replaced from the bottom up. Both of our tennis courts have long passed their useful life. The substructure has failed and would have to be replaced. Replacing the courts from the bottom up is not possible due to the improvements in environmental rules designed to protect the integrity of the lake. Protecting the lake is important to all of us and is something we all take personally. As the tennis courts wear away, the paint and oils from the asphalt migrate into the water over time. Spending significant funds to simply repave the courts is not a good use of funds entrusted to us, the courts’ life would not be materially extended, and it would continue to pose environmental challenges.

We recognize that the waterfront tennis court holds a special place in the memories of some of our alumni. We hope that while you may not agree with the decision, you at least understand why we are removing the front court and creating better spaces for our campers’ activities. Based upon the feedback we have received since we launched the planning phase of this project in 2019 through the more recent community meetings in March 2023, we believe this decision is in the best long-term interest of Clearwater and for the campers who are not yet born who will be attending camp long after we are all gone.

Subscribe to the Voyageur Newsletter