The effort to install lights at the Avon Middle School tennis courts has the town’s regulatory hurdles and now awaits full funding.
On Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission by a 4-3 vote approved planned lights for the facility.
In June, the long-neglected tennis courts at the school officially reopened, after a years-long fundraising effort spearheaded by the Avon Community Recreational Neighborhood Inc. (ACORN).
The $151,000 fundraising campaign to get the facility operational again was supported by private donations, a United States Tennis Association Grant, matching appropriations from the Board of Education and Town Council as well as gifts from foundations, such as the Maximilian E. & Marion O. Hoffman Foundation and the Avon Education Foundation.
With the facility finished, efforts turned to lighting and the town agreed to apply for a site plan modification for four light poles and lighting.
At the Planning and Zoning meeting Wednesday, a representative from Musco Lighting talked about technological advances that provide even illumination for tennis courts yet have virtually no light “spillover,” said Steven M. Kushner, the town’s director of Planning and Community Development.
The lighting system would also contain a sophisticated timing mechanism that would prevent them from shining during daylight hours or for hours on end when the court was not in use, he added.
Still some commissioners had concerns about the impact to the neighborhood, Kushner said.
While the vote was split 4-3, commissioners did set a strict curfew of 10 p.m., he said.
Before the lights become reality additional funding is needed.
ACORN president Laura Young said the total cost of the project is estimated at $63,000, about $50,000 of which is for materials.
The Maximilian E. & Marion O. Hoffman Foundation has donated $25,000 for the project, she said.
To make up the balance additional fundraising efforts will be planned, Young said. The effort is a collaborative one between community stakeholders, ACORN volunteers, the Town of Avon and Avon Public Schools, she added.
The goal is to have the lights installed by next summer.
"I'm pleased that the project passed and look forward to working with community stakeholders to bring the project to fruition," Young said.