Advertising signs help fund Kutztown High School tennis court resurfacing project

Submitted photos by Mick O'Neil Kutztown High School's tennis courts that were resurfaced in November.
Patriot photo by Lisa Mitchell Tennis coach Harry McGonigle talks about the three resurfaced Kutztown High School tennis courts, which he said are used by both students and community members.

Advertising signs will help offset the cost of resurfacing two Kutztown High School tennis courts, which are used by students and community members. The district resurfaced the other three courts in November.

“Tennis is one of those few sports that you can play for your entire life and it really keeps you in shape,” said Kutztown tennis coach, Harry McGonigle. “It’s a great, fun game; it’s very inexpensive, get a racket and some balls .... I’ve played tennis all my life,” said the retired Kutztown High School teacher of 38 years. “I’ve played well over 60 years and I still want to play. It keeps you active.”

McGonigle said the courts are heavily used by the community members, everyday all year long, in addition to the girls and boys tennis teams.

“There’s hundreds of people who use those courts. They’re open 24/7 and have lights. They’re just a tremendous bonus to the school district and all the people all around. It’s one of those facilities that people continue to use, from 8 to 80,” said McGonigle, boys tennis coach for 44 years and girls coach for about 18 years. He had restarted the tennis program in the 1970s.

“The courts are open for use by the community whenever the high school teams are not using them,” said Michael O’Neil, Kutztown Director Of Student Activities and Athletics.

Three of the five tennis courts were resurfaced by The Breneman Company, which was completed in November. O’Neil noted the importance of resurfacing the courts is “For the safety of our athletes, visiting athletes and community members.”

The two upper tennis courts still need resurfacing “which now are barely playable. And for matches I really need all five,” said McGonigle.

The district resurfaced the lower three courts for $12,250. The amount for the upper two was quoted at $12,680, said David Miller, Business Administrator, Kutztown Area School District.

“The Kutztown Tennis facility had its 3 lower courts resurfaced last November. It had been over 20 years since the last resurface job, and the courts were in dire need of improvement,” said McGonigle. “The Kutztown School Board, however, did not have the additional money in the budget to resurface the other two courts which continue to be in need of work.”

In seeing an opportunity and a need to raise money for this project, McGonigle said he approached the school board about advertising at the courts.

“I’m trying to help the board, the taxpayers and the people in the district to offset the cost a little bit,” said McGonigle.

The school board created a new policy regarding the size and cost and language of these signs.

“The policy was approved in April, 2013, regarding the placement of signs. Our Board was very receptive to the possibility of additional revenues to support our program,” said Kutztown School Board President Carl Ziegler.

The signs will “offset the cost of the resurfacing of the courts,” said O’Neil.

McGonigle said the signs, by Fegely Signs in Maxatawny, which could have a business name or family name, would be placed high on the court fences as not to obstruct spectator views of a match. There would be an initial cost and then a yearly maintenance fee, according to the tennis coach.

According to the policy, all advertising signs and content are to be approved by the district. No advertising will be associated with the sale of tobacco, alcohol, illegal drugs, or weapons, and cannot contain vulgar or offensive, obscene or sexually explicit language. Other restrictions include that the signs cannot advocate the violation of law or district policy, advance any religious or political organization and cannot promote, favor or oppose a candidate for elected office or a ballot measure.

Guidelines include that the signs may be posted only at locations approved the district, and must conform to specifications set by the district, including material composition, size and appearance, as well as specified duration. The district may limit the period of time when advertising signs may be posted, as well as limit the number of signs posted at one time or place. Any maintenance, repair or removal of an approved sign is subject to direction and supervision of the district, according to the policy.

Those interested in an advertising sign must submit a written application to be approved by the superintendent or designee. Approval will be evident by a written sign permit to the applicant, according to the policy. “Any permit shall be subject to termination and revocation without cause at the complete discretion of the district without liability or financial penalty of any kind.”

The coach and Kutztown district are asking the public and tennis fans, past players and families, and anyone else interested to call for information.

For more information about prices and sizes of signs, contact the district office at jwerley@kasd.org or the athletic office at mioneil@kasd.org or Harry McGonigle at 610-509-7652.

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About the Author

Lisa Mitchell

Lisa Mitchell is the editor of The Kutztown Patriot and Managing Editor of Berks-Mont Newspapers. Reach the author at lmitchell@berksmontnews.com or follow Lisa on Twitter: @kutztownpatriot.

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