April 26, 2010

Update: Unified clarifies policy on public use of new tennis courts

Local tennis players were disappointed earlier this month when they went to Case High School to play on the school's new tennis courts and discovered they were locked.

It was surprising because the courts had been open to the public before they were were re-surfaced, along with the courts at Horlick High School, last year with $651,000 in referendum money.

However, a check with Racine Unified Spokesperson Stacy Tapp and a visit to the courts ourselves shows the courts - at least some of them - will be open for public use.

After checking with Case Activities Director Rupnow, Tapp said the district's policy is to unlock the tennis courts when a building engineer is on duty. An engineer is typically on duty from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

The courts are not available for use during school days or when they're being used by the high school tennis teams.

The courts can also be reserved by a group or individual. The fee is $5 per court per hour, including a $25 deposit and a certificate of insurance.

We visited the Case High School courts on April 21 to test if the district was keeping with its policy. We found four of the new courts were unlocked and open for play, and eight were locked. It's unclear if more courts will be opened, as needed, or if the district will keep some locked up. On the day we visited, there was nice weather, but no one playing.

The new courts at Case and Horlick are a coups for local tennis players, who had been struggling to find decent, free courts in recent years. While the city has invested in nice new courts at Lakeview Park, some had complained about the new style of surface that was used. The city also resurfaced the courts at Lockwood Park, but paint is chipping off the surface, obscruring some lines and creating an unattractive appearance.

The new Unified courts were badly needed. They replace courts that were cracked and uneven, creating a difficult playing environment for the district's boys and girls tennis teams.

Update: Here's the official policy for use of Case High School's tennis courts:
Case Tennis Court Usage Policies
1. The Case tennis courts are not available during the school day or during interscholastic events.
2. The second set of four courts labeled D2 will be unlocked for public use. All other courts will be locked for individuals or groups making reservations.
3. In order for an individual or group to secure (reserve) a court or courts, a Racine Unified School District Facility Use Form must be completed. This individual becomes the “responsible adult”. Individuals or group leaders must provide a certificate of insurance. For private citizens, this means a policy that covers you and the group playing.
4. The Facility Use Form should be completed and sent to Mike Rupnow, Activities Director at Case High School. Mike Rupnow will approve the request for availability and send the form to the Racine Unified School District’s Building and Grounds Department for their approval.
5. The “responsible adult” named on the Facility Use Form, may secure a key for the tennis courts with a $25 deposit with Mike Rupnow. The adult will be responsible for the key through the date of reservation.
6. The “responsible adult” will be billed $5.00 per hour per court that is used by the Racine Unified School District’s Buildings and Grounds.


  1. Taxpayers - we can show RUSD what we think of them giving us the finger by locking the tennis court when it comes time to vote on the pending referendum.

    It just amazes me how its fine for us to pay for these courts, yet they prevent us from using them. The arrogance of RUSD staff is unbelieveable. And RUSD wonders why the public doesn't support them...

  2. PrefersCoffee4/26/2010 10:52 AM

    By all means, don't fund education in this community because you can't play tennis for free.

    Grow up and get your priorities straight.

  3. I don't have a problem funding education. My problem is funding lavish salary and benefit packages for district employees. My issue is also paying for all these sports related "things" like tennis courts, fieldhouse floors, weight rooms, etc and not being able to use them. If only my money was really going toward education!

  4. Doesn't education require recruitment like every other business? I get a kick out of the "lavish" salary argument. We pay what is competitive to other comparable districts. And my gosh, lets get rid of athletics. That hindrance that helps kids keep weight off and build healthier bodies ready for learning. I'm sure that parents looking at communities that they may move to would be impressed to see their children would have no opportunity to play sports in Racine. That would definitely help bring in quality people to the community.

  5. How is $651,000 for tennis courts funding education?

  6. The problem is the lavish benefits that all educators and government employees are getting, not just RUSD. Want to take a guess why the USPS is failing and FedEx/UPS are prospering? Very simple - their pay and benefits are in line with the job. THe same is true why private schools are doing just fine and the public ones are failing.

    There is no reason why atheltics need to be placing such a large burden on taxpayers. Anyone who attends a high school football game might wonder why the high school team has just as many (if not more) coaches than an NFL team. Talk about milking the taxpayers! One coach is more than enough. If these people were truly concerned about the children, they would volunteer their time to coach.

    Those children concerned about their healthy bodies and keeping weight off are free to run or walk. That doesn't cost anything. What happened to playing games with groups of neighborhood kids? Do they really need taxpayer funded "organized" sports at school with 15 coaches???

  7. I find it comical how RUSD cries that the sky is falling with repairs like roofs falling in, holes in walls, windows with holes, and water heats going out, yet they spend $651,000 on tennis courts.

  8. 1) Private schools only teach students that they want to teach. Not students that require special needs. This has more to do with results than pay/benefits. Private schools and public schools are apples and oranges.

    2) Many of the assistants are unpaid and do volunteer or the head coach takes less pay to pay an assistant.

    3) Maybe we can make the students stand instead of sitting during class. That would save that lavish desk spending and burn more calories too.

  9. 1.) Sure, now starts the "special education" BS. years ago we just called those kids what they are - idiots. We've always had them, and always will. Now they just cost us a lot more. If you look hard enough, everyone has some kind of learning disability. The Liberals and public education just take it to the extreme with no real results.

    2.) That will be the day when these coaches volunteer or take a pay cut. I'll believe that when I see teachers stay after school to tutor students without being paid or to teach summer school without demanding extra pay. Come back to Earth with that comment!

    3.) Now resort to those types of comments because you have no valid arguments for the points I have made. I guess it could be said that some students do stand around all day instead of sitting in class - just take a drive past Walden.

  10. Taxpayer should be able to use these courts at no cost - we have already paid and paid and paid. Some of us have never had a child in the unified system.

  11. Anon 11:46

    Obviously "special education" did not help all of the idiots. Did you go to class or just stand around all day?

  12. Anon 11:27 - Those previous courts were an embarassment to the city. Opponents were refuring to play Horlick and Case on them and making the Racine schools play at the opponents courts instead. How much does that rack up in bussing charges?

    All that said, the fact that even some of the courts are locked up is ridiculous. Racine taxpayers have paid for them, we should be able to use them whenever the school isn't.

  13. Anon 2:57 - Have you seen the courts at Park HS lately? Those are many times worse than the ones at Case or Horlick.

  14. 9:54 - Of course they are. They weren't redone. Prior to the new courts at Horlick, Horlick's were by far the worst of the 3 high schools.
    An arguement could be made that Park's were worse than Case's. But HOrlick's were the worst.

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