Tennis Industry magazine

 

Feats of Clay

These outdoor facility winners are excellent examples of soft-court construction.

By Peter Francesconi

One thing that seems clear, from years of running stories about the soft-court winners of the Racquet Sports Industry/American Sports Builders Association Distinguished Facility-of-the-Year Awards, is that Florida has some sort of lock on winning facilities. The 2011 winners, while fewer in number than in past years, continue to bear that out: three of the four facilities shown here are in Florida.

The lone non-Florida winner is the New Orleans City Park/Pepsi Tennis Center — a new, large facility that in fact has 10 soft courts and 17 hard courts. Construction was delayed for over two months due to substantial rainfall and poor soil conditions. Due to the high level of ground water, metal casings were installed 14 feet deep for the concrete light poles to meet local wind load requirements of 130 mph.

The soft courts for the New Orleans project are described as “modified” HydroCourts. The city requested that vent pipes for the HydroCourt system not be at the net line, but next to the court curb and outside the principal playing area. The project also included fencing, lighting, a clubhouse, site drainage, landscaping and installation of backboards at the ends of a practice court.

The Tennis Center at Fish Hawk Ranch is new construction in a private development and consists of a battery of four courts and a standalone court. The project included player seating and shade near the courts, a pro shop, restrooms and spectator viewing areas.

Another new facility is the four-court Tennis Center at The Quarry Beach Club, also in a new private development. The project, a three-court battery and a single court, included fencing, lighting, cabanas, player seating and spectator viewing areas. During construction, crews hit an unexpected layer of rock in the subsurface area, which required additional time to be removed.

The Boca Raton Tennis Center, a public facility, was the lone upgrade of an existing center. The four existing asphalt courts were converted to four HydroGrid courts, utilizing the same footprint. The existing fencing and lighting was left in place.

For quality soft-court facilities, few places seem to rival the Sunshine State.

Tennis Center at Fish Hawk Ranch

Valrico, Fla.

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

No. of Courts: 5

Surface: Har-Tru Sports Hydroblend

Lights: LSI Courtsider

Subsurface Irrigation: Welch Tennis HydroGrid

Windscreen, Nets: Welch Tennis

Net Posts: J.A. Cissel

New Orleans City Park/Pepsi Tennis Center

New Orleans, La.

(Nominated by American Tennis Courts Inc., Mobile, Ala.)

Specialty Contractor: American Tennis Courts Inc.

No. of Courts: 10 clay (17 hard)

Surface: Har-Tru Sports HydroBlend (soft); World Class Athletic Surfaces (hard)

Subsurface Irrigation: Har-Tru Sports “Modified” HydroCourt

Net Posts: Edwards Classic Round

Center Straps: Edwards

Backboards: Bakko Backboards

Tennis Center at The Quarry Beach Club

Naples, Fla.

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

Specialty Contractor: Welch Tennis Courts Inc.

No. of Courts: 4

Surface: Har-Tru Sports HydroBlend

Lights: LSI Courtsider

Subsurface Irrigation: Welch Tennis HydroGrid

Windscreen, Nets: Welch Tennis

Net Posts: J.A. Cissel

Boca Raton Tennis Center

Boca Raton, Fla.

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

General & Specialty Contractor: Welch Tennis Courts Inc.

No. of Courts: 4

Surface: Har-Tru Sports HydroBlend

Subsurface Irrigation: Welch Tennis HydroGrid

Nets: Welch Tennis

Net Posts: J.A. Cissel

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About the Author

Peter Francesconi is editorial director of RSI magazine.

 

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