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Upgrades to NH track, tennis courts smooth out surfaces

Upgrades to NH track, tennis courts smooth out surfaces
Upgrades to NH track, tennis courts smooth out surfaces
Members of the North Harrison boys' tennis team participate in the season's first practice Monday. The team is playing on a new surface after repairs and a new paint job gave it a facelift. Photos by Brian Smith (click for larger version)

During the summer months, the North Harrison athletic program provided upgrades for its student athletes.
Among the biggest and most notable changes, thus far, is on the tennis courts. The playing surface that once featured a green-and-red design is gone, as are the gaping holes in the surface.
‘We had areas of seven- to eight-inch gaps,’ North Harrison athletic director Hal Pearson said. ‘They were almost unplayable in some areas. To continue to use the courts, we had to do something.’
Professionals came in and repaired deep within the surface of the courts, sealing the repairs. Once the surface was smoothed out, a fresh coat of paint was added.
‘We went with a U.S. Open color and added the blue for school colors,’ Pearson said.
Some of the courts had wide gaps, some within the playing surface. When the boys’ tennis team reported for first practice Monday, the players were able to play on the clean courts.
The tennis courts, six in all, are located on the western portion of the North Harrison campus, behind the middle school.
One of the big events the tennis program hosts each year is the North Harrison Invitational. Multiple teams come from Southern Indiana schools to compete in the day-long event, which will take place Saturday, Aug. 24.
Along with the courts, the track and field program will have a new surface. The previous track, which circles the football field, was removed down to the asphalt.
A bump was discovered on the front stretch of the track and was leveled out. The new asphalt went down in the summer, with the rubberized surface to be installed within the next few weeks.
‘They need to let the asphalt level to see if they need to make adjustments,’ Pearson said. ‘Once it’s ready, they’ll put the rubber surface on within the first few weeks of school.’
Pearson said it had been more than 10 years since the track had seen significant repairs. On the previous surface, the rubber in inside lanes near the turns was nearly gone to the asphalt.
‘We had a whole new base and foundation put in,’ Pearson said. ‘They’ll put down three layers of rubber then paint.’
The North Harrison running program has seen great success during the recent years, with multiple state qualifiers in cross country and track and field. Those performances have included podium performances at the state meet.
During the course of a track and field season, the Cougars host the North Harrison Invitational, along with multiple other events for the junior high and high school programs.
Many community members also use the track for recreational purposes and are welcomed to do so, according to Pearson.
‘We’ll ask our recreational users, walkers and runners, to use lanes six, seven and eight,’ Pearson said. ‘It’ll keep the wear down on the inner lanes. When we took up the old surface, lanes seven and eight were in decent shape because they are only used at meets.’
Pearson said signage will go up to ask recreational users to use the outside lanes as a way to help prolong the life of the surface.
An addition also has been made to the soccer fields, located on the southeastern portion of campus, behind the baseball diamond.
A permanent scoreboard is expected to be erected at the facility before the season begins, Pearson said. North Harrison fields a boys’ and girls’ soccer program.