City finds $25,000 to fund project

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Gaige Rosencrantz, 14, of Cassville, rides his classic 1960s Schwinn bicycle around the well-worn basketball court on a hot summer day. The city plans to completely renovate the basketball and tennis courts as soon as they are able to confirm dates with one of the contractors. They also plan to add two pickleball courts. The aging courts have large cracks, are faded, and are in need of renovation and repair. Rosencrantz said he plans to keep the bike for a long time and plans to remove the rust. Julia Kilmer

Tennis, basketball, shuffleboard courts to be renovated for $64,175

After finding $25,000 extra in its parks and storm water tax fund, the city of Cassville is preparing to renovate its tennis, basketball and shuffleboard courts at the city park.

The total cost of the projects is $64,175, and as soon as the city receives available dates from Hutchens Construction, a Cassville-based contractor hired to do part of the renovations, work will be scheduled.

According to Steve Walensky, Cassville public works director, complete renovations will be done to the tennis court, basketball courts and shuffleboard court. The shuffleboard court will be removed, and pickleball will be added, so there will be two basketball courts and two pickleball courts.

Walensky described pickleball as a hybrid game that is becoming more and more popular.

"Imagine taking tennis mixed with ping pong and adding badminton in," he said.

Walensky said the project was able to move forward after the city found an extra $25,000 in the parks and storm water tax fund, allowing the city to accept the original bid, which came in higher than expected.

The tennis and basketball courts will have green playing surfaces with red borders outside the game surface. The color of the pickleball courts is yet to be determined.

Terry Heinz, Cassville alderman, has suggested making the pickleball playing area brown, as the ball used in the game is white in color.

The city will do the demolishing and repacking, and Hutchens Construction and Gerald Perry Tennis Company will complete the actual renovations.

Although he is not sure when the courts were originally built, Walensky said the courts need restoration badly.

"We've talked with a lot of the participants that play on the courts and that use it, and they are extremely happy that we're making the upgrades," he said.

Walensky said the courts had large cracks, and the net poles on the tennis courts were leaning in.

"They're in rough shape," he said. "It's just age. It's atrophied over the years and just needs to be taken care of. The more that I can provide for kids in the park, the better. We're trying to make various upgrades."

The original bid from Hutchens to refurbish only the tennis courts came in at $37,950. That amount includes a two-and-one-half inch binder installed, and a one-and-a-half-inch tennis surface installed, and tack oil.

"It's specially mixed for tennis court," Walensky said. "We want people to understand this isn't just asphalt we're putting down. This is a special mix for tennis courts."

The total $64,175 price tag includes the original bid from Hutchens for the tennis courts at $37,950, and a $9,450 bid from Gerald Perry Tennis Company, the Springfield-based contractor hired to do the resurfacing. For the basketball and pickleball courts, Gerald Perry Tennis Company was awarded the bid at a cost of $16,775.

"What they'll be doing for that amount is resurfacing two tennis courts, applying two courts with acrylic surfacer, two coats of acrylic sports color, layout and lining of a two-coat system, and installing and painting of the nets, posts, and the edge court by hand, and installing center anchors," Walensky said. "So, we're getting all new nets and new posts. It's a really good, professional tennis court company.

"They're doing all the crack repair, overlay, color and painting for us. That includes repair and resurfacing to the basketball courts, a 17,500-square foot area. They are filling all the cracks needed and using RiteWay repair systems.

Walensky said RiteWay is a special system designed to fix things like the courts. "It's a durable product for problems in basketball courts," he said. "They will also do the layout and lining of the two basketball courts, and two pickle courts, using a two-coat system."

Once renovations begin, all courts will be unavailable for use for about eight weeks.

"They will be closed off," Walensky said. "We really want it to cure properly so it's not damaged in any way during the reconstruction. We don't want to close them down sooner than it needs to because people are using it. As the project becomes more defined, and we can establish dates, then I'll know what our plans are.

"There are two things I am hopeful for: That as this is under construction, people would appreciate what we're doing, and we would appreciate their patience in staying off the courts, and, once it's completed, that we get a lot of people using our parks again."

Walensky said the city has made a lot of improvements to the Greenway Trail and encouraged people to use it.

"We want to make our park the best we can with what we can afford to do," he said.

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