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Talks continue over tennis court repairs

Some are asking for post-tension slabs which the district says could cost $600,000 more.

March 28, 2013|By Bryce Alderton

The school board on Tuesday delayed moving forward with plans to repair the aging and cracked tennis courts across from Laguna Beach High School.

The item would have given the Laguna Beach Unified School District the go-ahead to pay Sprotte + Watson Architecture and Planning Inc. $42,850 to produce design plans to improve the six courts on Park Avenue, but board members said they needed more information on the overall scope of the project before awarding the contract.

Both the city and school district fund the courts and officials from both agencies agree they need to be resurfaced and the surrounding fence repaired. The city favors court lighting and player benches. The school district prefers adding spectator seating, a shade structure over bleachers, and storage area.

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School board members grappled with the extent of the resurfacing and whether to start the project sooner rather than later. The proposal included sandblasting, fixing cracks and adding a new synthetic surface, not jackhammering the old one, said Ted Doughty, the district's facilities director.

Board members Theresa O'Hare and Bill Landsiedel were reluctant to let Sprotte + Watson begin design plans that did not include an option for post-tension slabs.

"I am uncomfortable with this [proposal]," O'Hare said. "I don't have a cost [estimate] on that information in order to get a bid."

Post-tension involves treated, encapsulated steel cables being pulled to a specified tension to keep concrete from cracking, Brian Hoggard, a resurfacing specialist with Orange-based Zaino Tennis Courts Inc., wrote in an email.

Such a project could cost an additional $600,000, Doughty said.

"I'm afraid we're going to start someplace and not going to stop," Landsiedel said. "I want this done, but I don't want to come back in two years needing to resurface the courts.

"I am a tennis player, and those back two courts are uneven."

Per board direction, Doughty hopes to do a walk-through of the site with geologists to analyze soil conditions under the courts next week and return to the board with a revised architectural proposal.

One of the six courts already has a post-tension slab, Doughty said.

The board's unanimous discussion came on the heels of a special facilities meeting at district headquarters on Monday. Parents who attended that meeting questioned when repairs would be made.

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