Tennis Industry magazine

 

Distinguished Facility-of-the-Year Awards: Soft Serve

Circumstances presented challenges, but these five examples of soft-court construction passed the test.

By Peter Francesconi

Once again, Florida locations led the way among the soft-court winners of the Tennis Industry/American Sports Builders Association’s Distinguished Facility-of-the-Year Awards. Four of the five winners are from the Sunshine State, with the fifth from Puerto Rico.

And once again, the same two court-building companies led the soft-court awards category — Welch Tennis Courts Inc. and Fast-Dry Courts Inc.

Interestingly, water played a key part in the construction of each these winning courts. All are sub-surface irrigated courts, and in some instances, drainage required extra consideration. For many of these projects, weather caused challenges with construction timelines and drainage.

For the rebuild of five courts at The Beach Club in Palm Beach, the contractor had to use a small parking lot as a staging area for materials and equipment, which meant trucks had to be offloaded on an adjacent residential street. To reach the courts, old pine trees, an old light pole and a large cabana had to be removed, and a small road had to be built across a recessed center walkway. In addition, an archaeologist had to be on-site during all digging. For rain run-off, a concrete channel drain was installed, which carries water 300 feet to the closest city storm-water box.

Building the eight new courts at Bonita National in Bonita Springs included the installation of lighting, fencing, cabanas, windscreens and covered spectator seating. Extra fill was brought in to raise up the site, but the fill contained large rock, which meant special rock tip bits needed to be added to the augur to process the foundation. Excessive rain created washouts, but the contractors expedited the landscaping to help keep the soil in place.

In Puerto Rico, the Dorado Beach Resort and Club demolished its four concrete courts and put in five new Har-Tru courts. The construction was performed in a series of phases to keep the club fully operational throughout the renovations. The original courts had no formal drainage system in place, which meant allowing time for the new sub-base material to dry out after excessive rain during construction. A total of 614 linear feet of channel drain, with in-line catch basins, was placed on the low side of the courts, which was then connected to a drainage system outside of the tennis facility.

The upgrade at the Ibis Golf & Country Club included two Har-Tru tennis courts and four cushioned pickleball courts. Since other building renovations were going on at the club at the same time, access to the courts was established via a small golf-cart path, and only 10 feet of sloped ground near the courts were available as a staging area. Before the drains were operational, rain flooded the building site, and crews had to wait for the water to run off before continuing construction. A pre-sloped concrete channel drain was installed on the south end of the tennis courts to capture runoff and help prevent Har-Tru from washing onto the pickleball courts.

Talis Park in Naples, Fla., added six new sub-surface irrigated courts, complete with lighting, fencing and canopies, in three two-court batteries. The project also included the construction of four bocce courts. Since the site drainage was not hooked up when the court contractor was starting work, rain caused excessive flooding of the site during construction. A site developer had to be called in to fix the problem, which was ultimately solved by installing a series of yard drains around the courts.

Considering the challenges, these builds were all the more impressive.

Bonita National

Bonita Springs, Fla.

Nominated By: Welch Tennis Courts Inc.

Number of Courts: 8

Surface: Har-Tru Sports

Lighting: LSI Industries

Windscreens: Putterman Athletics

Sub-Surface Irrigation: Welch Tennis Courts HydroGrid

ASBA Certified Builder: George Todd Jr.

Ibis Golf & Country Club

West Palm Beach, Fla.

Nominated By: Welch Tennis Courts Inc.

Specialty Contractor: Big D Paving

Number of Courts: 2

Surface: Har-Tru Sports

Windscreens: Putterman Athletics

Sub-Surface Irrigation: Welch Tennis Courts HydroGrid

CASBA Certified Builder: George Todd Jr.

Dorado Beach Resort and Club

Dorado, Puerto Rico

Nominated By: Fast-Dry Courts Inc.

Number of Courts: 5

Surface: Har-Tru Sports

Lighting: Techlight

Drainage: Zurn

ASBA Certified Builder: John Sonner

Talis Park

Naples, Fla.

Nominated By: Welch Tennis Courts Inc.

Number of Courts: 6

Surface: Har-Tru Sports

Lighting: LSI Industries

Windscreens: Putterman Athletics

Sub-Surface Irrigation: Welch Tennis Courts HydroGrid

The Beach Club

Palm Beach, Fla.

Nominated By: Welch Tennis Courts Inc.

Number of Courts: 5

Surface: Har-Tru Sports

Windscreens: Putterman Athletics

Sub-Surface Irrigation: Welch Tennis Courts HydroGrid

ASBA Certified Builder: George Todd Jr.

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About the Author

Peter Francesconi is editorial director of Tennis Industry magazine.

 

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