New town tennis court project on schedule

Better courts in Crested Butte that will last a long time

The town tennis courts, constructed in 1979, are one of the first things you see as you approach the Four-way Stop in Crested Butte. It is a sure sign of spring when the windbreaks and nets go up.



But the tennis fence is down and a total renovation of those courts is under way, with the hope that by next July a new and improved court system will be in place.
Site prep and grading have begun on the renovation. Grade material compaction and testing should be complete by the end of the week.
Crested Butte Parks and Recreation director Janna Hansen said the bid for the work was awarded to Renner Sports of Denver. Their portion of the job came in at $212,358.
“The courts will be top of the line,” Hansen said. “[Renner Sports] will construct a post-tensioned concrete slab to overlay the existing courts. The total project budget is $283,800, which includes the courts, a shade structure with storage, sidewalks, landscaping, and in-kind work performed by the town.”
The town is currently conducting the prep work and Renner will start construction of the concrete slab by September 29.
“Depending upon weather and temperatures, the construction of the slab should take about ten days to complete with tensioning of slab cables occurring in mid-October,” Hansen explained. “Construction will be put on hold through the winter and snow will continue to be stored at the Four-way Stop.”
Come spring, the final touches will be made to the courts. “The court surface will be striped and new fencing, windscreens, gates, and nets will be installed by Renner Sports. We also plan on pouring concrete sidewalks, landscaping, and building a shade structure,” said Hansen. “We plan to put a water fountain with bottle filler on the shade structure, as well as electricity. The sidewalk will lead from the parking lot around the west side of the courts to the shade structure on the south side.”
The final contract came in about $10,000 higher than what was budgeted for in 2013, when the GOCO grant application was submitted for this project. Hansen said the town would evaluate how the budget looks once they get through fall construction. “We may have to prioritize these items next spring and we will do our best to stretch our dollars as far as possible.”
Hansen emphasized that given the age of the courts, something had to be done. “The current courts are beyond their usable and repairable lives and do not meet numerous United States Tennis Association [USTA] specifications for court size, fencing, grade and drainage. The existing three-court footprint is 152 feet by 118 feet. The new three-court footprint will be 180 feet by 120 feet. All the courts will be striped for Quickstart Blended Lines with one sixty-foot court and two 36-foott courts on each regulation 78-foot court in accordance with USTA specifications. Those lines will facilitate kids and junior tennis.
The increased size will allow for USTA-recommended spacing between each court, bringing the full dimensions of each court area to 60 feet x 120 feet,” Hansen explained.
“In addition, each of the three courts will also have lines painted for ‘10 and Under Tennis,’ which is a growing segment of the tennis teaching progression and strongly supported and promoted by the USTA. Ten and Under Tennis lines essentially turn a standard-sized court into two separate small courts. We have been teaching the Ten and Under Tennis curriculum in Crested Butte for many years and have found that the program has greatly increased our growth in youth tennis.
“Furthermore, our long time tennis instructor, Jackie Bingham-Levine is a USTA-certified Schools Tennis Clinician,” Hansen continued. “Jackie has brought tennis to the Crested Butte Community School and has helped build a portion of the PE curriculum around youth tennis.”
Part of the reason the project was able to proceed was that local tennis players helped raise money for the endeavor. “A group of dedicated citizens and tennis enthusiasts formed a committee called ‘40 Love,’ which lead a campaign that raised $35,830 for our new courts. It couldn’t have been done without them and it shows how important it is to have a public-private partnership when it comes to things like applying for grants and just making projects more successful.”
Replacing the existing asphalt courts with post-tensioned concrete is the longest-term and highest-value renovation solution for Crested Butte, according to Hansen. Based upon current research of post-tensioned concrete slabs, she anticipates getting at least 30 years out of the concrete slab, with resurfacing/painting of the courts every seven years or so. Players should be serving up games on the new courts by July 1.

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