When a Nether Providence Township subdivision had to choose between removing or repairing an old tennis court, Commissioner Mike Dougherty had an idea: turn the space into a playground.

First, though, the asphalt playing surface had to be removed. When bids came in higher than expected, public works was asked to prepare the site and install the equipment.

Fortunately for township taxpayers, the department excels at parks and recreation-related projects. Public Works Director Darryl Dixon and his crew spent three weeks on the project. Doing the work in-house saved the department enough to fund additional upgrades. Early this spring, the department added a rain garden, accessible path, and 10-car parking lot to the site.

"I hope we did our part by saving money for the residents," Dixon says.