Community Meeting Discusses New Tennis and Basketball Courts in Maplecrest Park

L to R: Melissa Mancuso, Greg Lembrich, Heather Saslovsky, Lara Tomlin, Kurt Kiley, Erin Scherzer.
Heather Saslovsky; Melissa Mancuso, Interim Director of Recreation and Cultural Affairs; Lieutenant Alfred Sally.
Greg Lembrich, Maplewood Township Committee
Sergeant Joe Guglielmo

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - On Thursday evening, July 21, a meeting was held at the Hilton Branch of the Maplewood Library to update community members about the ideas the Recreation Committee has regarding potential upgrades and re-uses to the current tennis courts.

Maplewood Township Committee Member Greg Lembrich, who is the Township Committee liaison to the Recreation Committee, led the discussion regarding potential uses for the existing courts, which could include converting the current tennis courts into two basketball courts, or converting part of the tennis courts into one basketball court.

Both Lembrich and Lara Tomlin, a member of the Maplewood Recreation Advisory Committee, explained that this is early in the planning process, and that it is likely that actual work on the courts would begin in 2017. Tomlin displayed a sketch that showed how two basketball courts could replace the three tennis courts, which is one of the options being discussed.

Sign Up for E-News

In addition to Lembrich and several other committee members, the meeting was attended by two members of the Maplewood Police Department, Lt. Alfred Sally and Sgt. Joe Guglielmo, David Berry, Director of Youth Engagement and Activities at the West Essex YMCA, and Melissa Mancuso, Interim Director of Recreation and Cultural Affairs, and members of the community.

Community members were able to ask questions and share concerns and suggestions on how best to proceed in the revitalization of the courts in Maplecrest Park.

Some concerns were expressed about potential noise and foul language, which local resident Paul Surovell referred to as “the John McEnroe effect." Walter Feld, who resides on Oakview Ave., expressed concern there would be noise at late hours.

The police officers who work the 2 p.m. to midnight shift stated that they believed that language and behavior would not be a major issue. There were similar concerns about the skate park, but according to police, the area goes quiet with the dusk closure of the park, and it is very rare that anyone is in the park after the stated closing time. They do not foresee any negative outcomes to updating the tennis courts and installing a basketball court.

During the meeting, the basketball courts at Memorial Park were also discussed, and a request made for the lights be re-activated there. The police officers present at the meeting agreed this would impose no issues and it was agreed to use the lights for the same hours there as at the tennis courts in Memorial Park.

The consensus from the residents at the meeting was that they would like the tennis courts renovated, and for one of the courts to be converted to have a bounce back wall, or two. Residents would also like a basketball court to be built, but not on the site of the tennis courts, but near the parking lot on the Springfield Ave. side, which would have it placed away from the residential areas.

One of the questions asked was whether the basketball court and tennis courts could be reserved exclusively for use by South Orange and Maplewood residents. Lembrich explained that under the Green Acres law, all parks and their facilities must be open to the public with no restrictions regarding residency.

Lembrich stated that the meeting is one of the first steps in the planning process, and that funding would still need to be determined, and there will be at least one more public meeting before any final decisions are made.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News



AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!


Maplewood Police Blotter - Two Motor Vehicle Thefts Reported, One Recovered

May 16, 2018

May 7 - Burglary; Sometime during the prior two days, entry was forced to a business on Newark Way.  The keys to a GMC van were then taken from inside the business and the van was stolen.


May 7 - Motor Vehicle Theft; At approximately 9:30 p.m., a Jeep left unattended and running in the parking lot of 7-11 on Irvington Ave was stolen. The vehicle was later recovered in ...

South Orange Police Blotter - More Than 10 Vehicle Burglaries Reported

South Orange Police Blotter as of May 14

Auto Theft - A Roland Ave resident reported that sometime between 10:30 pm, Thursday 5-10-18 & 7:30 am, Friday 5-11-18 actor(s) unknown stole his vehicle (2016 Mitsubishi), which was parked in his driveway of his residence at the time.

Burglary to Auto - A Vose Ave resident reported that sometime between 10:45 pm, Wednesday 5-2-18 & 8:00 ...

South Orange Community Pool Will Not Be Open Memorial Day Weekend; Opening Day Planned for June 2

May 20, 2018

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - The South Orange Community Pool will have a delayed season opening, and will not be open Memorial Day Weekend, according to an update from the Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs.

According to the Recreation Department, "weather issues, both the early spring snow and the ongoing spring rain, have caused delays in the construction project underway to ...

Annual MayFest Street Fair is this Sunday in Maplewood

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - This Sunday is the annual MayFest Street Fair celebration in Maplewood with live music, performances on two stages, and the chance to meet the artists who created the new Springfield Avenue murals, as well as to experience a "mural painting in progress," according to event organizers.

The festivities take place on Springfield Avenue on Sunday, May 20, from 11 ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, May 23, 12:00 PM

Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, South Orange

The Purposes and Rhythms of Jewish Living

Education Religions And Spirituality


Wed, May 23, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink


Fri, May 25, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink


Fri, May 25, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

Uniacke Named Bridges Outreach Executive Director as Bhatt, Tulloch Announce Retirement

May 18, 2018

SUMMIT, NJ - Bridges Outreach, Inc. Executive Director Lois Bhatt and Deputy Executive Director Bethany Tulloch have announced their retirement and, effective May 29, Richard J. Uniacke will begin his tenure as the Summit-based nonprofit's new Executive Director.

Uniacke, who will become just the organization's third executive director in three decades, was ...

Bus Accident in Livingston Kills One Wednesday

LIVINGSTON, NJ - Livingston police are investigating a fatal bus accident in the township Wednesday afternoon.

The police department has confirmed a death in the accident, which occurred shortly before 1:30 p.m. near the intersection of Latham Court and South Orange Avenue.

As of 4:30 p.m., detectives were still on the scene investigating the crash. A full report has not yet been released ...

Hundreds of RWJBarnabas Health Employees Run in New Jersey Half Marathon

May 17, 2018

LONG BRANCH, NJ — RWJBarnabas Health leaders Stephen Zieniewicz, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston and Bill Arnold, president and CEO of Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch were joined by 200 RWJBarnabas Health employees as they ran in the New Jersey Half Marathon on at the Jersey Shore.

The 22nd annual Novo Nordisk ...

Grand Street YMCA Building in Scotch Plains, Which Dated Back 200 Years, Razed by Developer

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ --  The Second Baptist Church of Scotch Plains -- better known as the Grand St. YMCA (at the corner of Union), faded into Scotch Plains history when it was torn down by developers earlier this month. 

Over the course of two centuries, the building had served a church, meeting house, a school, and from 1947 until recently, it was the Grand Street YMCA. By 1971, ...

Third Annual South Orange Food Stroll & Pub Crawl is Sunday, May 20

May 19, 2018

The South Orange Food Stroll & Pub Crawl is back!

On Sunday, May 20, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., the South Orange Village Center Alliance hosts its third annual South Orange Food Stroll & Pub Crawl, a tasting event that showcases the diverse restaurants and unique retailers in our Village Center.

With the purchase of a wristband, you'll stroll and sample delectable bites and ...

Weekly Specials at Ashley Marketplace - May 18 to May 24

Shop Ashley Marketplace & Cafe for your everyday needs!

This week's specials are:          

Strawberry Banana Smoothie  $4.25 (Bakery)
Chicken Cutlet $7.99lb (Prep Food)
Turkey Hero $5.99 (Deli)
Juicy Juice 8pk  2/$5*
Friendly’s Ice Cream $3.99
Notre Dame Brie $6.99lb (Cheese)
Monkfish $9.99 ...

South Orange B’nai B’rith Federation House Hosts Visit from Sen. Menendez’s Legislative Counsel

South Orange B’nai B’rith Federation House (SOBBFH) hosted a visit by Rebecca Schatz, legislative counsel for Senator Robert Menendez, who toured the community and heard from residents about what it means to them personally to have affordable housing available to them. The visit provided Schatz with tangible benefits of HUD Section 202 Supporting Housing for the Elderly, a program ...