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Tennis court design plans move forward despite higher cost estimate

The city and school district share the facility.

January 09, 2014|By Bryce Alderton

The Laguna Beach Unified School District board has unanimously voted for an architect to resume design plans for a tennis court renovation at Laguna Beach High School, even though cost estimates have almost doubled.

District staff called a special board meeting Tuesday to gather feedback from the trustees and public on whether to proceed with plans for post-tension slabs on five of the six courts on Park Avenue across from the high school.

Post-tension involves steel cables in a concrete slab being pulled to a certain degree to help prevent cracking and is more extensive than other options, including sandblasting and adding a synthetic surface.

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The school district and city, which share the courts through a joint-use agreement, agreed last year on an estimated budget of $620,000. The city agreed to spend 70% of that cost while the district would pick up the remaining 30%.

But the project's architectural firm, LPA Inc., hired an independent estimator who projected a total cost of $1.15 million for mandatory work and $1.7 million for mandatory plus added, but not required, amenities specific to each agency, a district staff report said.

Under the mandatory work, post-tension costs increased from $286,400 to $750,814, while upgrades to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act went from $86,137 to $380,892, according to the district.

A ramp that is currently too steep would cost $238,241 to be replaced, according to project architect Arash Izadi.

Additional Department of State Architects-required costs include $99,425 for demolition and $9,201 to relocate gate posts to align with the new slabs, LPA's report said.

The mandatory work doesn't include fixing a retaining wall ($29,010), replacing mesh and windscreens on court fences ($92,649) and adding new arms and fixtures to the light poles ($104,803). These costs would add on to the $1.15 million.

The initial estimate did not have the cost to remove and replace the ramp, said Dean West, assistant superintendent of business services.

LPA has been on hold since Dec. 19, when architects revealed the revised estimate at a meeting with West, district facilities director Ted Doughty, Laguna Beach High School Principal Joanne Culverhouse and Athletic Director Mike Churchill, and city representatives including Community Services Director Ben Siegel and Recreation Supervisor Tom Toman.

The project is not expected to be done by the end of summer as originally hoped, according to the district's report.

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