Tennis Industry magazine

 

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Soft Goods

Where can you find excellence in outdoor clay-court construction? Take a look at these seven winners.

By Peter Francesconi

With six of the seven winners, Florida again dominates in the outdoor soft-court category of the Racquet Sports Industry/American Sports Builders Association 2010 Distinguished Facility-of-the-Year Awards.

All seven of these winning projects use subsurface irrigation, which both conserves water and maximizes playing time. All the projects also used laser grading to ensure a uniform and properly sloped surface.

Four of these projects are new construction (Cindy Hummel Tennis Center, NewBridge on the Charles, Roger Scott Tennis Center and Valencia Lakes Tennis and Recreation Facility), and four are public facilities with at least six clay courts. (At least one project included a shorter court for 10 and Under Tennis.) On some of these projects, cut, or angled, corners also seem to be a nice touch, both aesthetically and in helping players retrieve balls.

The Cindy Hummel Tennis Center was a design-build project for the city that, in addition to the eight clay courts, also included one shorter hard court for 10 and Under Tennis. Site work required the removal of several large oak trees, and an abandoned sewer line had to be cemented-in to create retention ponds.

Club Med Sandpiper Bay was upgraded; the four hard courts were demolished, the old asphalt removed, the fencing was expanded, and six new Har-Tru courts were installed in two batteries, with the existing lights left in place.

The single court at NewBridge on the Charles in Massachusetts is brand new, on a site that had steep slopes, so stone retaining walls were built to create a level platform for the court and clubhouse. Noise from a nearby highway was mitigated with an 8-foot-high ship-lap groove cedar board fence.

Another upgrade, the three new Har-Tru courts at the Ritz Carlton in Amelia Island, were built over three older all-weather courts that were being used as a parking lot. Fill had to be added to change the direction and rate of the slope, and the exterior ground needed to be reshaped to capture draining water and direct it to catch basins.

Excessive rain caused major washouts during the construction of the 10 new soft courts at the Roger Scott Tennis Center, which are in two two-court and two three-court batteries, all with cut corners. The facility, designed by the USTA, also required curbing and fencing that can withstand hurricanes, so the poured concrete curb was reinforced with three rows of rebar, and all fence poles were tied into the slab.

The project at Seaview Park also included a concrete practice court with a hitting wall, in addition to the five-court and two-court Har-Tru batteries. One difficulty was the subbase, which was full of contaminated material that had to be removed, then replaced with clean fill and geo-tech material. But now the urban facility has been transformed into an upscale municipal tennis center with modern courts and irrigation.

The tennis and recreation facility at Valencia Lakes is geared toward 55-plus active adults, and this center has it all: six new clay tennis courts, four hard pickleball courts, sub-irrigated bocce ball courts, basketball court, horseshoe pits and more. At the time of construction, there was a major drought that produced dust storms. The contractor had to fabricate dust barriers around the courts so the surface wouldn’t be contaminated. And the result, as in all these winning projects, is flawless.

NewBridge on the Charles

Cottage Community, Dedham, Mass.

(Nominated by Stantec, Boston, Mass.)

Architect/Engineer: Patrick Maguire

Specialty Contractor: Cape and Island Tennis & Track

No. of Courts: 1

Cindy Hummel Tennis Center

Auburndale, Fla.

(Nominated by Welch Tennis Courts Inc., Sun City, Fla.)

General Contractor: Welch Tennis Courts Inc.

No. of Courts: 8

Surface: Lee Tennis Hydroblend

Lighting: LSI Courtsider

Subsurface Irrigation: Welch Tennis HydroGrid

Club Med Sandpiper Bay

Port St. Lucie, Fla.

(Nominated by Welch Tennis Courts Inc., Sun City, Fla.)

Specialty Contractor: Welch Tennis Courts Inc.

No. of Courts: 6

Surface: Lee Tennis Hydroblend

Subsurface Irrigation: Welch Tennis HydroGrid

Court Accessories: Welch Tennis Courts

Ritz Carlton

Amelia Island, Fla.

(Nominated by Welch Tennis Courts Inc., Sun City, Fla.)

General Contractor: Welch Tennis Courts Inc.

No. of Courts: 3

Surface: Lee Tennis Hydroblend

Subsurface Irrigation: Welch Tennis HydroGrid

Windscreen: J.A. Cissel

Court Accessories: Welch Tennis Courts

Roger Scott Tennis Center

Pensacola, Fla.

(Nominated by Fast-Dry Courts, Pompano Beach, Fla.)

Specialty Contractor: Fast-Dry Courts

No. of Courts: 10

Surface: Lee Tennis Hydroblend

Subsurface Irrigation: Lee Tennis

Windscreen: Aer-Flo

Net Posts, Line Tapes: Lee Tennis

Trench Drain: Zurn Industries

Nets, Accessories: Fast-Dry Courts

Seaview Park Tennis Facility

Palm Beach, Fla.

(Nominated by Welch Tennis Courts Inc., Sun City, Fla.)

Architect/Engineer: Global Sports & Tennis Design Group Inc.

Specialty Contractor: Welch Tennis Courts Inc.

No. of Courts: 7

Surface: Lee Tennis Hydroblend

Lighting: LSI Courtsider

Subsurface Irrigation: Welch Tennis HydroGrid

Valencia Lakes Tennis and Recreation Facility

Sun City, Fla.

(Nominated by Fast-Dry Courts, Pompano Beach, Fla.)

Specialty Contractor: Fast-Dry Courts

No. of Tennis Courts: 6 (soft)

No. of Pickleball Courts: 4 (hard)

Surface: Lee Tennis Hydroblend

Subsurface Irrigation: Lee Tennis

Net Posts: J.A. Cissel

Windscreen: Putterman

Line Tapes: Lee Tennis

Lighting: Recreational Lighting Systems

Nets: Fast-Dry Courts

Resurfacer (Pickleball): Nova Sports

See all articles by

About the Author

Peter Francesconi is editorial director of RSI magazine.

 


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