Campus upgrade brightens future for tennis

Staff Report

A partnership between the SYHS Tennis Boosters and the Santa Ynez Valley Union High School District has resulted in a long-hoped-for upgrade to the campus: lighting for all six tennis courts to allow night play for both the SYHS tennis teams and the community.

There is no other facility like it in the valley.

Raising the $76,000 needed was a tall order.  Thanks to 12 years of fundraising efforts by the Tennis Boosters, $38,000 was raised.  In a more recent effort spearheaded by SYHS parent and Tennis Booster Denise Allec, the additional funds were secured through a contribution from the school district and significant donations in the form of donated labor and a price reduction on parts.  Jennifer Rasmussen, the girl’s tennis coach for 22 years, also played a key role in bringing the project to fruition.

Work began in July and with community support from local businesses Just LED, owned by SYHS parent Jez Blacker, and Erickson Electric, owned by SYHS parent and alumnus Lonnie Erickson, the job was completed after weeks of summer work.

“Lonnie Erickson really stretched our dollars through a very generous gift of labor.  The project would not have been completed without it,” Allec said.

The new lighting will allow high school tennis teams to practice and play games after dark.  The added benefit to the community is that there are coin-operated switches that will turn on the lights as needed until 10 p.m., seven days a week.  The cost is 50 cents for twenty minutes, and two courts are lit at the same time.  Play is on a first-come, first-served basis.

“This project is a result of a local partnership that will benefit both students and other community members,” said district Superintendent Scott Cory.  “I would like to offer sincere thanks to the Tennis Boosters and the local businesses that gave so much time, effort and financial resources to make this happen.

“On a related note,” he added, “thanks also needs to go out to Santa Ynez Valley Youth Recreation for building these courts for us more than 20 years ago.  All of this is another great example of the valley coming together to make something special happen.”