Ward 7 - The basketball courts at the Firestone Park Community center will be gone for good, but in their place will be refurbished tennis courts and a new outdoor pavilion on the community center grounds.
Akron City Council Monday night passed an ordinance authorizing the city to proceed with the $405,000 improvements to the Girard Street facility, which were prompted in part by residents who complained about profanity, fights, litter and unruly crowds at the basketball courts.
Ward 7 Councilwoman Tina Merlitti ordered the removal of the basketball rims from the city park two years ago. She said new tennis courts would be a better fit for the park and nearby churches have requested an outdoor pavilion for picnics and other outings.
"It's been two years since the rims were removed, and overwhelmingly people like the fact that they've been down," Merlitti said. "The police and the community center staff say it's so peaceful there now."
Construction on the pavilion and courts is scheduled to begin in September and be complete in November.
Merlitti pointed out that those who wish to play basketball in the area can play at the two new basketball courts that have been added to nearby Morgan Park, at Morgan Avenue and Beardsley Street, and during open gym times offered by the YMCA at the Voris Community Learning Center, 1885 Glenmount Ave.