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Here you'll find updates for the Palmer Park courts. This includes current and future renovation status.

New posts are by MHA administrators and members.  You are encouraged to add comments and feedback. 

Please be respectful of fellow users. Trolling posts will be deleted.

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  • 01 Jul 2020 8:44 AM | Stewart Shevin (Administrator)

    We installed a storage box near the grill. It’s set into the cement with bolts. It will house:

    - expendables like charcoal, lighter fluid (I don’t think it’s a safety issue, but your comments are welcome), matches.

    - grill tools (need donations of these)

    - a collapsable broom for the courts

    - a blower should someone decide to donate one.

    - whatever else will fit.

    The lock combination is 0619. Right now there is one lock on the box, though it is machined for two. If I put a second one on, it will have the same combination. To me, the lock is a deterrent to theft by non-players. That said, there’s nothing stored in the box we need to overthink.

    We are sharing the combination with racquetball players. If it’s determined they don’t contribute to the expendables, we’ll relinquish access.

    _________

    You may noticed the court walls are getting damage repaired and will be painted. I’m scheduling work to not conflict with our normal play times M-W-F 3:00 onward, and Sunday 9:00 - 1:00.

    I am in contact with the City about maintenance of the floors. You may have noticed a deterioration in the front of the southeast court. I’ll keep you apprised.

  • 20 Jun 2020 3:48 PM | Stewart Shevin (Administrator)

    Players inaugurated the new grill on Juneteenth. About 12 players and friends potlucked brats, noodle salad, burgers and libations. Thanks to Tony DiSantis for generously contributing cost for the grill, and Dale Chimenti who summoned his Italian heritage to pour the grill's foundation. Tile set by Stewart Shevin. Come and enjoy!

  • 02 Jun 2020 9:41 PM | Stewart Shevin (Administrator)

    Maybe you’re cocooning or taking your chances in the wild outdoors. Hopefully restrictions on park use will be lifted soon in such a way that more peeps will find comfort on the courts. In the meantime, we are continuing with improvements at Palmer Park. 

    - Your MHA funds at work…. We’ve contracted a painter to repair the walls that have had moister damage, then repaint the surface. First the south courts will be done, then the north. I will schedule so there will be as little downtime as possible. I will let folks know when painting starts.

    - We should be taking delivery within the next two weeks for a barbecue grill. A Tony D. donation. It will get sunk into the ground at the southeast corner of the courts outside of the fenced area. My guess is that we will pour a 24” x 24”  pad underneath it. Anyone who is willing to help, or knows a handball player who is experienced in concrete please contact me.

    - I had a thought of installing a gang box into the cement at the same time. ($260 including shipping) This would house charcoal, tools and such for the grill. It would have a lock to deter the squirrels. Check it out and let me know how you feel about this expense.

    https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200664848_200664848

    - The city is running power to the log cabin and the storage building next to the tennis courts. I have asked the GSD to run a conduit to the handball courts as well. Surprisingly, they did not laugh at me, but are actually considering doing it! This would be a 220 / 110 line that would terminate to a simple junction box with a receptacle for now. Enough power to run small equipment. Cross your fingers.

    - The city is also planning on installing street lights in the park come November. I don’t know specifics.

    - I encourage you to subscribe to the Palmer Park forum on the MHA website. You will automatically get notified of news and games at the courts. If you didn’t read my email and need help with that give a shout.


    Ta, ta,

    Stewart

  • 02 Jun 2020 6:46 PM | Stewart Shevin (Administrator)

    Hey all, Thanks to a generous donation from Tony DeSantis, we will be installing a park-style barbecue grill at the south court area! So get ready for post game swankie-frankies, lentil burgers and other goodies. We are looking for donations. We will update you once it's ready to fire up.

  • 13 Aug 2019 11:19 PM | Stewart Shevin (Administrator)

    Hi all,

    Solar lights installed today in North (rear) courts. These along with surveillance "cameras" should dissuade the riff-raff. Taken at 9:30 this evening. Hey, is that a deer in the bushes? Anyway, the raincoat census is ongoing. Play on! ......

  • 31 Jul 2019 9:49 AM | Stewart Shevin (Administrator)

    Dateline July 31 Palmer Park... The south court floors have been resurfaced and 10' fencing installed. They are ready for play. This gives us four playable courts at Palmer Park. Sport benches donated, living at the rear of the courts. Go. Play. Enjoy!

  • 06 Jul 2019 12:15 PM | Stewart Shevin (Administrator)

    We were pleasantly surprised when we arrived yesterday, the 6th to find a crew installing the vertical posts for the new fencing for the south courts! The 1-3/4" black vinyl-clad mesh is being installed this coming week, as it had to be special ordered. The back height is 10' and the side returns are 8'.

     

  • 03 Jul 2019 1:51 PM | Stewart Shevin (Administrator)

    Friday fun….

    Good news. I inspected the wall caps yesterday and they are in surprisingly good shape. 

    - Wall caps. We will need to caulk (I have) some seams on the north courts, and apply some Drylok sealer (I have) for good measure.

    - Walls. I picked up a gallon of the current wall paint to touch up some areas near the floors. They will need to be scrubbed first. 

    - We will be raising the height of the fence on the north courts by 3 feet on Friday. Bob and I will coordinate whether he has the material or it will be a purchase. It will only take 20 minutes to install. Once the south court fence is installed, we will repurpose the 7’ T posts as a second tier of fence on the north side.

    To bring on Friday if you have it on hand: putty knifes & scrubbing brushes to prep / clean walls, paint brushes (2” or greater), 9” roller, buckets to hold cleaning water, rags, etc. 

    I will bring a few thick nap roller covers. I have a 6’ ladder, but if someone else has one, that would be great. If anyone has a post hold digger, let me know.

    We brought a 20’ extension ladder and two 10 gallon containers of water to the courts yesterday. They are being stored in the building next to the tennis courts.

    Rain is predicted on Friday afternoon. If so, we will reschedule.....

    Stewart

  • 02 Jul 2019 1:48 PM | Stewart Shevin (Administrator)

    Hi all,

    Yesterday we inaugurated the refurbished north courts. They played really well! This is even though there are some small divots (“pops” in concrete terms) which the city is addressing with their contractors. 

    Speaking of contractors, I was RSVP’ed last night by Jeff Klein who is our contact at the GSD of Detroit. They are talking with the floor refurbishers before they do the south courts, to make better of the north divot situation, and doing the correct wok on the south. I will post an update on that when it’s scheduled.


  • 27 Jun 2019 1:59 PM | Stewart Shevin (Administrator)

    Hey all,

    Peter Werbe and I met with Farhat Chaudrey (engineer) and Jeff Klein (Deputy Chief of Landscape Architecture) at the courts yesterday. We accessed the north court surface work done by their vendor.  

    First, the work was contracted to be done on the south courts. They mistakenly resurfaced the north (wrong) side. The good news is that the city is having the contractor fix the south courts as it was their mistake.

    We were all in agreement that although the courts look great, the vendor did not prep the cement as expected. Specifically,  grinding down and pouring a suitable self-leveling epoxy before the application of the slip-resistant surface paint. The crack and pop filling was less that appropriate.

    The upshot is that Jeff will meet with vendor to discuss making better of the north courts and approaching the south courts (to make right)  in a suitable manner. He is telling them the court surfaces need to be ground down and filled properly. They will haggle over money and whatever I’m sure. Jeff will get back to me with the results of that meeting. I will update you once I hear back.

    As soon as the south courts are resurfaced, cyclone fencing will be installed around the south courts.

    Once the fence install starts, we will repurpose the mesh from the south to make the north court fencing higher (total 10’). It was  suggested to install a second shorter fence a few feet past the first to keep more balls from heading into the woods. We can repurpose the south T-posts for that. 

    Other notes:

    We plan to clean and apply a sealant to the stepped wall caps. This will remedy vegetation growth on those wall tops. We’ve also noticed seepage coming through and down the side of the walls at a few points. This deteriorates the walls themselves, and has caused new paint at the base to peal in a few spots. 

    We’ll touch up the wall paint after repairs.

    Stewart

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The Original Palmer Park Improvement Letter

Dear Handballers & friends,
Ahhh, spring is in the air and summer is close behind. The mellow sound of a blue ball therapeutically reverberating at outdoor courts brings happiness. And a chance to redefine the rules as we go....
The spread of our beloved game is one of the many goals of the MHA. It’s important to our sport to bring up the next generation and pay it forward. Besides, who else will eagerly listen as we share tall tales of games mysterious won against all odds and scorecards?

Which brings me to an incredible opportunity for us to build upon the past and spread good tidings for the future of Detroit handball. There is a cadre of people who are spearheading the refurbishment of the Palmer Park courts. Believe it or not, the place where the Nationals were played is in surprisingly good shape considering the years of neglect. With your help, we can have these babies playable in no time.

I realize at first glance there may be resistance to shelling out money. True, you already have a place to play. Of course you may drive a ways and have to wait in line for a game, but you’re use to it. And you may have given money for the repair of the Belle Isle courts, which has been a long time coming and not all the desired repairs are getting done. Admittedly this gets frustrating.

The elevator pitch.....
We have gotten special dispensation from the City of Detroit to run the show. We will decide what is to get done. We will designate and supervise repair contractors. There is no government bureaucracy to get in the way.
Our contact person at the city, and the local citizens group – People for Palmer Park, are looking forward to helping in any way possible. Granted, sometimes this will mean staying out of our way. The goal is to refurbish the courts to a quality playing center.
We will also have volunteers who will donate time to young people for handball workshops. The People for Palmer Park will track these kids, which will lead to financial support from parents and others in the community.

I realize there may be apprehension to investing in Palmer Park. There is a history of neglect and crime in the area. That is changing. I point out to us all that it wasn’t long ago that downtown Detroit epitomized abandonment. This energy will spread to other parts of town if we make it happen.

The park has undergone many renovations already and has come alive! Later this year the tennis courts nearby will undergo complete rebuild courtesy of the USTA and a major grant.

Short list of repairs completed – funded by donations:
• Tuck-point and paint court walls and ceiling grid. The ceiling grid is in fine structural shape. • Apply top-coat resurface to court 2.
• Install temporary fencing to surrounding court area.

Amenities to be supplied by the city:
• Place benches and bleacher seating in court area.
• Place picnic tables beyond court area.
• Install port-a-john.
• Designate existing parking west of the courts (near mounted police stables) for handball players.

Parking on Woodward exists presently.

Let’s cut to the chase. You can get in on the ground floor and be part of the solution! We need bucks to get it done. Our goal is $100 donations per person, but whatever you can give is appreciated.
We have arranged for donations to be federal and state tax-deductible. Simply make checks payable to 
People for Palmer Park and write “handball courts” to earmark your donation. Send your check to the MHA at:

Palmer Park Courts

18890 San Quentin Drive

Lathrup Village, MI 48076

Or simply go to our GoFundMe page here:

GoFundMe page for Palmer Park Handball Courts

Thanks much, Stewart Shevin

Palmer Park court rejuvenation committee members:

Scott Johnna

Pete Brown
Peter Werbe

Michael MacDonald

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