Pago tennis courts and basketball court open for play

On hand to celebrate the newly opened courts from L-R are DPW division head Ken Tupua who oversees all of the recreation activities, Deputy Dir. of Parks and Rec. Pili Gaoteote, President of the American Samoa Tennis Association Billy Young, Asst. to Tupua —Dave Godinet and the Special Projects Officer for the Dept. of Parks and Rec. Lelani Ripley. [photo: Jeff Hayner]

The tennis and basketball courts in Pago Pago that were destroyed in the tsunami of 2009 have now been repaired and are ready for action. Samoa News spoke with the Special Projects Officer for the Department of Parks and Recreation Leilani Ripley about the repairs of the courts during a small Thank You Ceremony for the work done.

“The Pago Pago Park Tennis and Basketball Court Restoration Project was initiated through funding from FEMA after the 2009 tsunami… the total amount of the project award was $136,000 plus,” said Ripley.

She went on to say that the work was conducted in three phases, with the first phase being to clear and paint the basketball court as well as the two tennis courts and to replace the fence around the tennis courts. Phase one was completed by the Quality Paint Construction Company.

“Phase two that we are recognizing today is the resurfacing of the two tennis courts, where it was repainted and the lines put in, along with the new nets put up and new post”.

Dave Godinet of the American Samoa Tennis Association recommended that the post that was in prior to the tsunami, be relocated giving more room for each court, she explained.

Phase three has not yet been done, but it will replace the three light poles that were washed out during the tsunami, with the work to be bid out soon, according to Ripley. In speaking about the drainage area behind one of the courts, she said that during a heavy rain, the drain would flood with water coming onto the court. “We are also looking at the grassy area behind the two tennis courts, which is a drainage project. Through community support, we have been able to start the project.”

“We would like to recognize the company’s that are supporting the drainage project which are McConnell Dowell, ENW Construction and Paramount Builders,” she said.

She explained that this day was sort of a celebration for all of the FEMA projects that the Department of Parks and Recreation has been working on since the tsunami.

Samoa News also spoke with the President of the American Samoa Tennis Association Billy Young on the completion of the Pago Pago Tennis Courts.

“For the American Samoa Tennis Association it is great to have these courts open again. Since these courts have been down, the Tafuna courts have been really busy,” said Young. “Hopefully this will take the load off and the people of Pago Pago and the East Side can come here and use these facilities and I know that they will be well used. I would like to thank the Department of Parks and Recreation for their hard work to get it back up and running again and FEMA who did the funding.”

He noted, “Hopefully we can start running some programs for the East Side and Pago Pago to get more people out playing.”


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