NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Outdoor Basketball Court in Jeopardy

When students drive on Kenoza St. to take the rear entrance into Northern Essex, they are greeted with the nice view of Kenoza Lake. On the other side of the road, though, lies an abandoned basketball/handball court.

“Yeah, the eyesore?” said Athletic Director Sue MacAvoy. “It actually used to be a decent outdoor small basketball court out there.”

The court has been in this location since the Haverhill campus opened. It was surely in better shape back then. The basketball nets were intact, there were no holes in any of the fences separating the basketball and handball courts, and there was brand-new asphalt — no grass growing through the middle of the courts.

Nobody has taken enough care of the area to keep it in good condition, so the court has gone the way nature has taken it. This has led to many different problems.

“Last year there was a water main break down there. The water pipes went underneath that so they had to dig up certain areas of it, and that is not in the best of places, being that it is in a low spot next to the reservoir — so the asphalt was constantly cracking,” MacAvoy said.

The Athletic Department has noticed that the court has fallen into disrepair and are currently trying to figure out what to do with it. One option would be to keep the court, but they would have to make renovations and be sure that students would want to come and use it on a regular basis so it does not fall apart again due to neglect.

The school could also decide to move it somewhere else on the campus, but there is the issue of finding more land to create a new one. Once again though, it is not guaranteed that people would use it and it could be a waste of time, space and money.

Another option is that the school could decide to remove the courts altogether, said MacAvoy.

“They’re trying to decide if they’re actually just going to remove it because it is kind of a safety hazard.”

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