Builder/Contractor of the Year: Baseline sports construction
In 1982, Empire Recreational Surfaces, a small construction company in Knoxville, Tenn., started resurfacing tennis courts. Company personnel quickly recognized the need for quality court construction from the ground up, and began perfecting the art of building and maintaining courts. They increased their reach into the industry, eventually renaming themselves Baseline Sports Construction and becoming a full-service recreational contracting company whose high-quality finished products included not just tennis courts, but tracks, indoor facilities and synthetic fields.
As the company grew, its leadership became increasingly involved with the American Sports Builders Association. Company President Will Ferguson served on the board of directors and as the ASBA’s chairman. Its vice president, David Clapp, meanwhile, became both a Certified Tennis Court Builder and a Certified Track Builder, and most recently chaired the committee to rewrite the publication, Tennis Courts: A Construction and Maintenance Manual.
Baseline primarily serves the private market, but is also involved in municipal facilities. The company, whose motto is “Bringing excellence to the surface,” has been honored in the ASBA’s awards program many times. Now, it joins a distinguished list of honorees as RSI’s 2012 Builder/Contractor of the Year.
These days, the company serves the Southeastern region and is a licensed contractor in eight states. And yet, to borrow a cliché, the more things change, the more they stay the same. The company’s philosophy remains unchanged, according to Clapp: “Build quality projects, make customers happy, and be truthful in representing ourselves.”
Tips for Success
- “The growth of my business is really on my shoulders,” Clapp says. “I work at it every day.”
- Get involved with your trade association. The ASBA helps give Baseline the tools to keep its business healthy and growing.
- “Our goal as a corporation is to provide excellent services and products to the construction industry. Reliability and integrity are important in our work,” Clapp says.
See all articles by Mary Helen Sprecher
About the Author
Mary Helen Sprecher is the managing editor of Sports Destinations Management Magazine, a niche business-to-business publication for planners of sports travel events, in addition to being an RSI Contributing Editor. She is the technical writer for the American Sports Builders Association and works as a newspaper reporter in Baltimore City.
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