Tennis Industry magazine

 

Winning The (Hard) Court Way

These Facility-of-the-Year winners have features that are worth showing off.

By Peter Francesconi

New construction, rather than upgrading existing facilities, is the order of the day for our five outdoor hard-court winners of the Racquet Sports Industry/U.S. Tennis Court & Track Builders Association 2003 Facility-of-the-Year Awards. Three of these five winners are at schools or colleges (Encina Tennis Complex, Zandee Tennis Center and the facility at The Sanford School), while one is at a public park (Central Oahu) and one is at a resort (J.W. Marriott).

The projects ranged from installing six courts at The Sanford School and the Encina Tennis Complex to a massive 20-court installation at the Oahu location. The Zandee Center is a 12-court project while J.W. Marriott now has eight new outdoor courts. The Hawaii, California and Arizona locations opted for lights on some or all of their courts, while the two projects in the cooler climates of Michigan and Delaware went without illumination.

Only one of this group, the Zandee Center, listed its surface as “cushioned acrylic.” Three winners went with acrylic surfaces, and the surface of choice for The Sanford School is a combination of synthetic turf with acrylic coatings.

Amenities and extras, though, seem to be big with many of our winners, led by the Oahu complex, which just completed phase 1. (The second phase, planned for this year, will add five more courts to the original 20, including a stadium court, and a clubhouse.) This public park tennis center has lights on 12 courts (including two with tournament-grade lighting), two restroom buildings, courts arranged in two’s with shade shelters between them, wide walkways, and drinking fountains and telephones strategically placed throughout the site.

The original design for the J.W. Marriott called for eight sunken courts, but the contractor suggested that, because of drainage and budget concerns, the courts be built at grade without walls. Landscaping was designed around the courts and large grass berms were placed to help hide the road.

At the 12-court Zandee Center, in addition to the tournament shelter and concession/restroom building, spectators can watch the action from bleacher units or grass viewing berms next to the courts. The Encina Complex adds six lighted courts to the existing 13-court Taube Tennis Center across the street.

In court construction, “new” definitely means “improved,” too.

The five hard-court Facility-of-the-Year winners are:

Central Oahu Regional Park Tennis Center
Central Oahu Regional
Park Tennis Center
Encina Tennis Complex
Encina Tennis Complex
Grand Rapid Christian Schools
Grand Rapid
Christian Schools
J. W. Marriott
J. W. Marriott
The Sanford School
The Sanford School

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About the Author

Peter Francesconi is editorial director of RSI magazine.

 

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