Harvard has begun construction on eight new, all-weather tennis courts with a grandstand for as many as 400 spectators at Soldiers Field.
The courts, paid for with an anonymous gift that will cover the more than $300,000 cost, will serve as a new home for the men's and women's varsity team, supplement the number of courts available to Harvard affiliates, and help relieve wind problems at the Soldiers Field complex. University officials said yesterday.
"The outdoor courts we have are in lousy shape, with problems of playability and wind and we knew we had to do something about it." John P. Reardon Jr., director of athletics, said yesterday. "Then an alumnus came along and said he'd help us, and we got started right away."
The courts should be ready for the opening of the fall term, Reardon said. George Oommen, assistant to the vice president for administration for developmental planning, said yesterday construction could be finished as early as the end of July.
"The construction will solve several problems," Oommen said, adding, "We are building the courts taking into consideration the poor soil conditions and we will be installing a special kind of chainlink fence with curtains planting trees at close intervals to cut down on the wind."
Sourcees said the facility will not be named for the donor until his son, a current member of the Harvard tennis team, graduates.