The Story of the Shed: It Takes a Village
Several years ago, HTA created a facilities committee to evaluate our court and instruction needs and to serve as a liaison with the school and the city. As a result of the tennis growth in the Hastings community, our equipment needs expanded and storage became a challenge. The old shed was so crowded that it was difficult to find things. Thus, the construction of a new shed was identified as the committee’s top priority. Bids were obtained for a 10x24 shed and the least expensive option was selected. How to come up with the money became the new challenge. Many prayers were said and fortunately, there were many answers to these prayers.
First, HTA met with Tom Johnson, Hastings High School’s former athletic director. He agreed that a new shed was needed and pledged $1,500. At a subsequent meeting, he was able to come up with another $500 because the boys and girls tennis teams did not use their full budget allocation. This left $3,560 of the original bid. The next stop was Community Ed and District 200.
In visiting with Tim Collins, District 200’s superintendent, it was determined that the school and Community Ed used 75% of the shed and HTA 25%. Based on this conclusion, Mr. Collins pledged the difference between 75% of the initial bid and the pledge made by Mr. Johnson leaving HTA to come up with the remaining 25%. However, like most projects, the cost increased requiring HTA to come up with more dollars.
The original bid was based on building the shed off site. However when measuring the clearance of the entry gates when opened, it was determined that the shed was two inches wider than the opening. There were two options, go smaller or pay more to have the shed built on site. HTA didn’t want to go smaller, so we agreed to have it built on site and since width now wouldn’t be an issue, we increased the width another two feet. So instead of 10x24, the shed would now be 12x24. The cost increased $843. HTA didn’t want to ask the school or district for more money which meant HTA would now need to cover $2,161 of the shed cost. HTA had the 2016 RTD Tourney net proceeds that could be used, but then came another answer to our earlier prayers.
Earlier in 2016, Lyle Steffenson, Hastings High School longtime tennis coach, passed away. Lyle was a big promoter of Hastings tennis and instrumental in getting the lights installed at the Roadside Tennis Courts. In honor of his memory, Lyle’s widow, Carole, and their children donated $3,500. This generous donation would enable HTA to not only cover the remaining shed cost, but also, to have the shed stained by a professional and to purchase locked storage for the shed’s interior.
After the shed was built, it was decided that a ramp was needed so ball carts could be easily rolled in and out of the shed. A baseboard around the shed’s perimeter was also needed. In stepped Mark Howd, father of HTA player, Eric Howd. Mark donated the materials and his time for these two items.
And just when you think the story of the shed can’t get any better, it does. HTA started looking at shelving and cabinets and it appeared that HTA could easily spend $1,500 to $2,000. This was more than expected. As we were re-evaluating needs and options, Julie and Steve Henrichs offered to donate materials and time to build all the shelving and cabinets. The Henrichs have three daughters in HTA’s junior programs and Julie plays in HTA’s adult leagues. According to the Henrichs, building the shelves and cabinets were their way of giving back to a program that means so much to their daughters. As you can see from the pictures, their handiwork is beautiful.
The story of the new shed isn’t quite done… Now all that was left to do was to stain the shed. With the generous donations from the Lyle Steffenson Family and Steve and Julie Henrichs, HTA could comfortably cover the staining expense. The facility committee decided to obtain two bids. The first bid came in at $550, but when the second professional, David Caneff, was contacted, he said he would do it at no cost. He also said that Sherwin Williams would donate the stain. To have someone of Mr. Caneff’s skill to stain our shed ensured that our shed would look awesome.
At the end of the day, this shed was truly meant to be. It is with an incredible amount of gratitude that HTA members express their appreciation to Tom Johnson, Tim Collins, the Lyle Steffenson Family, Mark Howd, Julie and Steve Henrichs, Dave Caneff and Sherwin Williams.