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Tennis returns to Burbank High

Molly Shore

Burbank High School’s head tennis Coach Paul McNiff is pleased.

After three years of coaching the teams at McCambridge Park’s

Tennis Center because the school’s courts were demolished in Phase I


construction, the tennis program will return to campus early next


“I am happy that the courts will be back on campus,” McNiff said.

“For the past three years, students have been playing at McCambridge


Park’s Tennis Center, and while the center does a good job

accommodating the school’s tennis program, the students have to share

the facilities with many others who use it.”

At Thursday’s school board meeting, plans were approved for a

two-story parking structure with rooftop tennis courts to be built on

the northwest corner of the campus at Delaware Road and Third Street.

Construction begins in July with an anticipated completion date in



Although district officials earlier submitted alternative plans to

the $6.1-million proposed parking structure, board members favored

the original plan. The only decision they had to make was whether to

spend an additional $200,000 for wall shoring.

Chief Facilities and Development Superintendent Ali Kiafar said a

wall or wood brace shoring is not necessary for safety purposes.

To contain costs and cause the least inconvenience to the school’s

baseball program, board members decided against shoring. It would


have lengthened the construction time and affected the entire 2004

baseball program, said Michael McDaniel, president of the Burbank

High Baseball Booster’s Club.

The eight-month construction period will not affect the team’s

2004 season, McDaniel said, but with shoring it would have cut out

the entire 2004 baseball program because cutting into the field would

make it impossible to play.

“Instead of being a losing situation for the baseball team, and

the district spending $200,000 for the retaining wall, they save

$200,000 and we get to play baseball in 2004,” McDaniel said. “It’s a

win-win situation for both sides.”

The only inconvenience to the team is its baseball-conditioning

class, which begins in September. “The deal was that they are going

to cut some of our space off, but they will get us a couple of

batting cages to place in right field, even though we won’t have an

infield,” McDaniel said.

When completed, the parking structure will have 251 parking spaces and six rooftop courts.