Local tennis players will have to wait a few more weeks to play at Apple Valley Park. The three doubles and one singles courts, which are leased by the North Fork Pool, Park and Recreation District, are being replaced with all-new state-of-the-art courts.
Construction began in early June, and the courts are expected to open in mid-July. Unlike the old courts, which were 30 years old and had outlived their life expectancy by about a decade, these courts will last a good 50 years.
"They'll probably outlive you and me," said Miles Minson, president of Renner Sports Surfaces of Salt Lake City, the company awarded the construction bid for the project. Several local companies were contracted to work on the project.
On Monday, the final pour was made. Crews spread concrete over a grid of tendon wires, leveled the surface with a laser screed, then smoothed it out with a surface finishing trowel, similar to the way a Zamboni smoothes ice on a skating rink.
There will be a roughly 30-day curing period, said recreation district administrator Esther Koontz. Once the final coating is put down, around mid-July, the courts will re-open. "Worst-case scenario, late July," said Koontz. There will still be three doubles and one singles court. Spacing of the courts and the fencing was calculated to eliminate the proximity between the singles court on the east side and the fence line.
The cost of the project is $203,632, said Koontz. Funds came from a $140,297 grant from Great Outdoors Colorado, with matching funding provided in partnership by the district, Delta County, the group Friends of Apple Valley Park and the Town of Paonia.
Tennis court construction has changed a lot since the courts were built, said Minson. Thirty years ago, most courts were an asphalt substrate-all-asphalt court with reinforced concrete. Asphalt was actually better back then, said Minson, and was mixed with crude oil, which has more binding power. But the EPA demanded that asphalt be built with pure oil, which makes for a weaker bond.
To counter the weakness of the new mix, tendon wires, rather than rebar, are imbedded in the slab and stressed to compress the concrete inward. "The result is that if it cracks, it will be a hairline crack," said Minson.
The process has been around for several decades, but has been used in court construction for about 20 years. Some of Renner's projects
that are 15-20 years old are still solid. It's a bit of an overkill, said Minson, but the joint-free construction means that courts last much longer. The Apple Valley courts "probably lasted 20 years, and were put up with for another 10," said Minson.
As the final pour begins to set, it will reach a tension of about 2,800 pounds per square inch. At that point, the cables will be fully tensioned to about 30,000 PSI. Once tensioned, the cables can be cut and grouted. Then the courts need to cure for 30 days. Renner crews will then coat the surface with a colored acrylic polymer, impregnated with sand for texture, apply court lines and replace fencing.
Until they open, tennis player have to find another place to play. "Most serious tennis players I know are either going to Delta or Cedaredge," said Koontz. The courts at Hotchkiss High School are open, but cracks make them less than desirable to play on.
Plenty of people are anxiously awaiting the opening of the courts. There seems to be a local resurgence in tennis lately, said musician and tennis enthusiast Bill Powers, of Paonia. Powers is administrator of the "North Fork Tennis" Facebook page. Like many of his friends, Powers grew up playing tennis and has returned to the game in recent years. He said the courts have seen more use recently, especially by younger people, although he hasn't seen as many seniors out lately, likely due to the poor condition of the courts. Heading to the courts to play, "It got to the point where I didn't know if there would courts available or not."
Powers was hoping the courts would be open by July 4, but is just happy they're being done right. And like himself, "The folks that I know, they're all just super excited about it."blog comments powered by Disqus