Improvements under way at Hammond Park

The expansion and improvement project at Minot’s Hammond Park is well under way.

Workers were busy at the park Monday, hoping to finish all work by the end of September. The project is an ambitious undertaking. The result should be a lasting recreational complex that will benefit the community.

The main site at Hammond Park previously contained eight tennis courts and two basketball courts. Fencing and surfacing at that location has been removed, replaced by a level field of gravel in preparation for additional work. The main area is scheduled to receive 10 new tennis courts, two of which will boast lighting and spectator seating.

“Where the main courts will be is looking pretty good,” said Randy Burckhart, Minot Park District. “They’re working on the sub-grade for the basketball court area. It’s coming along. If we get weather to stand on our side we’ll be good.”

The basketball courts are in the process of being moved from their former location adjacent to the tennis courts to a vacant lot on the opposite side of 1st Street Northeast. The lot was formerly empty with the exception of a community compost site. A picnic shelter and playground are to be constructed next to the new outdoor basketball complex.

The addition of two tennis courts will make Hammond Park capable of hosting the numerous tournaments that it has entertained previously. The additional courts will make for better scheduling of tournaments and clinics. Unfortunately, a few trees on the east end of Hammond Park had to be removed to comfortably facilitate the new layout.

“One thing we try to do is plant two trees for every one that we take down,” said Burckhart.

The new tennis courts will be surfaced with fortified Plexipave, a rubbery substance that served as a very playable surface on the previous courts. An additional building that will serve, among other things, as a tournament headquarters is also under construction. The exterior of the headquarters building will match the existing restroom facility. A playground area and picnic shelter currently located on the main tennis court grounds will remain in place.

The hoped for completion date is Sept. 30.