Tennis Industry magazine


Quality Construction

Distinguished Facility-of-the-Year Awards. The outdoor hard-court winners demonstrate excellence on a grand scale.

By Peter Francesconi

The six outdoor hard-court winners (not including residential projects) of the Racquet Sports Industry/American Sports Builders Association 2007 Distinguished Facility-of-the-Year Awards represent a nice mix of facilities that show the breadth of tennis in communities throughout the country. The winners include a youth tennis complex, middle school, high school, community college, university and public complex.

Projects ranged from the renovated single rooftop court above a parking garage at Rockefeller University in New York City to the new 16-court indoor and outdoor Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis & Education complex in Philadelphia. (AAYTE also won the Court-of-the-Year Award for the facility; this Distinguished Facility-of-the-Year honor is for their outdoor courts.)

The AAYTE project included two outdoor rebound wall mini courts, an outdoor stadium court and two backboards. AAYTE is one of the U.S.’s premier non-profit tennis facilities, which serves thousands of youngsters in the Philly area. It’s been honored for excellence in tennis and education by the USTA, PTR and ITF, and it also won RSI’s Municipal Facility of the Year Award last fall. The new facility was built on the grounds of an old swimming pool complex and required the removal of tons of rubble. In addition, a major gas line that serves Philadelphia runs under portions of the courts, so excavation had to be done with extreme care.

The 12-court Maize Middle School complex in Kansas is also new construction and includes a concrete hitting wall. Significantly, the large and well-received tennis facility will receive double duty in the near future as the school district plans to build a new high school to share in the use of this first-class tennis complex.

While the facility at Oconomowoc High School in Wisconsin is considered an upgrade, it required the demolition of seven existing courts and the installation of a 10-court complex. This is truly a community-based project. During the initial design phase, the project was submitted for funding through the USTA. But funding was declined, so the community rallied together with private donations and fund-raisers to supplement the funds supplied by the school district and park and recreation department.

The 10-court Goddard Eisenhower Tennis Complex in Kansas was completed in just eight weeks. To meet the deadline, the contractor had to form and place the concrete within two weeks, let it cure for 30 days, then surface all the courts in a week. The result, though, offers players and spectators a spectacular venue.

Mesa Community College in Arizona had eight new courts installed under a tight deadline. The result includes a spectator viewing area, and a complex that both students and the community can use and be proud of.

Rockefeller University in the heart of New York City wanted to convert the concrete deck on top of a parking garage, on a 100-year-old structure, to a tennis court. The contractor redesigned the drainage system to eliminate the ineffective spot drains and installed a trench drain, in addition to sloping the court surface, which previously had been flat. They also installed custom fencing to surround the cushioned hard court.

Clearly, quality is king with this year’s hard-court winners.

Rockefeller University

Rockefeller University
New York, N.Y.
(Nominated by Classic Turf Co., Woodbury, Conn.)
Number of Courts: 1
Specialty Contractor: Classic Turf Co.
Surface: Classic Turf System
Fencing: Classic Turf System Custom Seamless
Lighting: LSI
Color Coating: Nova Sports

Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education

Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis & Education
(Nominated by Sportsline Inc., Exton, Pa.)
Number of Courts: 16 (8 outdoor, 8 indoor)
Specialty Contractor: Sportsline Inc.
Surface: DecoTurf
Lighting: LSI
Windscreens: M. Putterman
Nets, Straps: J.A. Cissel
Net Posts: Collegiate Pacific
Backboards: Bakko

Maize Middle School Tennis Complex

Maize Middle School Tennis Complex
Maize, Kan.
(Nominated by Mid-American Courtworks, Wichita, Kan.)
Number of Courts: 12
Architect/Engineer: Schaefer, Johnson, Cox & Frey
General & Specialty Contractor: Mid-American Courtworks
Color System: Vance Bros. Vantage Color
Nets, Posts: Douglas Industries

Oconomowoc High School

Oconomowoc High School
Oconomowoc, Wis.
(Nominated by Munson Inc., Glendale, Wis.)
Number of Courts: 10
Architect/General Contractor: Munson Inc.
Surface and Fencing: Munson Inc.
Nets: J.A. Cissel
Lighting: Lee Tennis
Color Surfacing Material: California Products

Goddard Eisenhower Tennis Complex

Goddard Eisenhower Tennis Complex
Goddard, Kan.
(Nominated by Mid-American Courtworks, Wichita, Kan.)
Number of Courts: 10
Architect/Engineer: Wilson & Co., Salina, Kan.
General Contractor: Coonrood & Assoc.
Specialty Contractor: Mid-American Courtworks
Color System: Vance Bros. Vantage Color
Nets, Posts, Windscreens: Douglas Industries

Mesa Community College

Mesa Community College
Mesa, Ariz.
(Nominated by General Acrylics, Phoenix)
Number of Courts: 8
Specialty Contractor: General Acrylics
Surface: General Acrylics
Lighting: LSI
Nets, Posts, Windscreens, Straps: Douglas Industries

For details on the 2008 Distinguished Facility-of-the-Year Awards, contact the ASBA at 866-501-ASBA or

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About the Author

Peter Francesconi is editorial director of Tennis Industry magazine.



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