MAHOMET, Ill. (WCIA) — The Village of Mahomet plans to build a new 6-court tennis facility at Middletown Park for local tennis players to enjoy, while also becoming the new home for the Mahomet-Seymour High School tennis teams.

The Village of Mahomet Parks and Recreation said the village received sealed bids on Jan. 24 for the construction of the new facility. Bids for the project were rejected in two previous attempts because of exceedingly high bid results, likely due to inflation and supply chain issues. However, the latest round of bid results was significantly lower than any previous bid results.

“The Village staff and Board of Trustees have worked tirelessly in recent years to make our community a desirable place to live, work and play with the addition of a wide variety of options for recreation and enjoyment,” said Village President, Sean Widener. “This will be a high-impact project that will benefit the entire Bulldog community. It is also a great example of what can be accomplished when everyone is working towards a common goal.”

The project’s construction moves forward with an Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity Grant, totaling $725,000 in funds. Senator Chapin Rose was involved in securing these funds for the new facility.

“In keeping with my past practice of requiring ‘shared use’ projects that ‘kill two birds with a single stone,’ I appreciate the cooperative approach of the school district and village putting forward this joint use proposal to cover expenditures that they would have otherwise undertaken separately – which would have caused a ‘doubling up’ of local property taxpayer dollars for the same basic enhanced opportunity for the community,” said Rose. “Saving local property taxpayer’s money, while providing greater opportunities for the kids and the community, is a definite positive!”

The village continues to explore a lighting issue despite plans for construction. The village said they look to partner with project stakeholders and the Mahomet Community Foundation to raise additional funds to add much-needed lighting for the facility.

“The Mahomet Community Foundation was put into place for this very reason, and it will be a great vehicle to see us through to the finish line,” said Widener.

There are currently over 28 pickleball teams participating in a winter league at 2 temporary courts on the Bridle Leash Park basketball courts, the Mahomet school gyms, and the Sangamon on Main Gym. The village said this project is part of the ongoing master plan which also includes the addition of pickleball courts.

In the meantime, a total of 3 courts at the new facility will include pickleball court lines.

“The new Middletown Park Tennis Facility adds another dimension to the growing list of diverse recreation options in Mahomet,” states Dan Waldinger, Parks and Recreation Director. “The project fulfills a void for tennis that we’ve had for quite some time. We can’t wait to grow and explore the sport for players of all ages and abilities and add yet another layer of quality-of-life experiences for our residents.”

The new facility plans to open in August 2023.