Without any fanfare, pomp and circumstance or official grand opening event, the Anderson Valley High School Tennis Court Restoration Project has been completed and the pristine high tech “Bowman Blue” acrylic courts are ready for play!
Maureen Bowman, wife of the late Mike Bowman who initiated this ambitious challenge for the Anderson Valley community, flew in just in time from the east coast to officially inspect the courts after a year and a half of research, fundraising and finally, construction. The Bowman family not only donated the initial seed capital for this project, but established a fund at The Community Foundation of Mendocino County for anyone interested in restoring all three tennis courts to their former glory.
Once again the community of Anderson Valley really rose to the occasion and took the bull by the horns raising enough money to cover the cost of resurfacing and replacing the decrepit asphalt within a year! Individual donations from just $20, Wineries, Valley Businesses and more individuals from the Deep Enders to the High Rollers and beyond. This community seemed to recognize and believe in the value proposition and rose to the occasion. With much excitement and with all the funds in hand, Construction began in June 2012.
Unfortunately, as with many construction projects, within a week of commencement, it was discovered that the substrate or material below the asphalt courts, was not ideal and would not stand up well for any reasonable length of time. Rather than abandon the project and leave a large mud pit at the High School for eternity, a decision was made to press on with the project and remove much of the poor material and replace it with Base II rock graciously supplied and partially donated by our very own Greenwood Aggregates. To ensure rigidity, uniformity and ultimately longevity, a heavy duty soil stabilization fabric was laid over the entire surface before the new rock was tucked in. The costs of removing the material and trucking in the Base II rock along with the compaction plus the cost of the new rock, has provided us with the opportunity of fundraising once again. A small community like ours cannot afford to throw good money after bad, even if we have the onerous to fundraise just a little longer for the good of the community and a worthy cause. There is no doubt that this community will come through once again.
Mike was convinced that his regular vigorous Tennis exercise program was the main reason he felt he had kept his cancer at bay for over 21 years. Quite often he would say that the most wonderful thing about tennis is that anyone can play.
Since Mike’s main focus was to provide children of the valley of all ages an outlet for their bounding youthful energy, curiosity and enthusiasm, all three courts have been constructed with three different sets of lines. Children eight and under can play on a 36’ x 18’ court, with balls either foam or very low compression, bouncing lower and traveling less distance. Children 10 and under can play on a 60’ x 21’ (60’ x 27’ for doubles), using a low-compression ball that travels a little faster and farther than the ball utilized by the 8 and under group, but will still have a lower bounce than the standard tennis ball. Of course Standard 78’ x 27 lines for singles play and 78’ x 36 ‘ for doubles play for teenagers and adults using a standard tennis ball are also included on the courts. With the “Bowman Blue” surface and white lines as the standard playing surface and the 36’ and 60’ lines in “Shadowed Bowman Blue”, all three groups have the ability to play tennis on the same playing surface without visual interference from the other lines.
If you drove by the courts over the last 30 days, you would have seen the constant application of layers and layers of a black then colorized sandy acrylic mixture squeegeed onto the surface before the lines were painted. Although this surface is extremely durable and has built-in UV inhibitors, it can easily scratch and chip. It is therefore important for the longevity of the surface that only tennis shoes or sneakers be worn on the courts. No street shoes or hard soled shoes and definitely no playing tennis in stilettos please!
Although Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have not yet responded to their invitations to test out our new “Bowman Blue” acrylic courts, Mike would have been impressed! Now you can play on what the Pro’s play on, right here in Boonville, California!
To celebrate and memorialize this milestone for the Anderson Valley High School and the Anderson Valley Community, the first Open Tournament will be played on Sunday September 2nd, starting at 9:00 am. Since the new Courts are located on the High School campus, all AV High School Students and Alumni will have priority in registration to play on the brand new courts, however, open registration for anyone living in Anderson Valley will be accepted at the same time. To register email or call:
Mike Bowman loved the Anderson Valley and played every opportunity he could at the High School. If you knew Mike Bowman, you can still feel his pure clean fresh soft energy when you step onto these courts. If you didn’t know Mike Bowman and still want to meet him, please take the opportunity and a moment of your time to step onto these state of the art “Bowman Blue” acrylic courts one sunny clear day before winter, and feel what Mike could only dream of, in our wonderful Anderson Valley.
If you would like to donate, please send your tax deductible contribution to:
For Credit Cards or PayPal — www.communityfound.org/site/giving/donate-online. Select “Donor Advised Fund” from dropdown menu. See: Bowman Family Fund -Grants recommended by Maureen Bowman. Select “Donate to this fund now.”
For Checks — Payable to: The Community Foundation of Mendocino County. Reference Bowman Family Fund in the MEMO section, 290 South State Street, Ukiah, CA 95482. (707) 468-9882