City, schools have differing views of tennis court repair

April 24, 2014|By Bryce Alderton
  • A white line represents where a rusted pole and fence used to be aligned, dividing two separate courts, at Laguna Beach High School.
A white line represents where a rusted pole and fence used… (KEVIN CHANG, Coastline…)

Laguna Beach Unified School District trustees are sticking with their goal of getting a bid for a more extensive tennis court repair project after hearing the city's proposal for a less-expensive solution.

Trustees met with City Council members and district and city staff Tuesday to discuss the state of six tennis courts on district property across Park Avenue from Laguna Beach High School.

The city and district share the courts through a joint-use agreement, which requires the city pay 70% for improvements and the district 30%. The percentages align with the hours the courts are available for public and high school use.

Residents say the court surfaces are unsafe because they are slippery, dirty and cracked. The courts have not been resurfaced since 2008 in anticipation of a repair project, according to a city staff report.

The original project budget was $300,000 in 2010-11, the staff report said, but the cost has steadily increased.


District and city officials renegotiated a 10-year joint-use agreement last year with a preliminary project cost of $620,000, which included post-tension, where steel cables are embedded in a concrete slab and tightened. The method, designed to prevent cracking, is more involved than the initial plans for sandblasting and repainting court surfaces.

Project architect LPA Inc offered a revised estimate of $1.86 million to $2.1 million because of the higher-than-expected cost for post-tension and the replacement of a concrete ramp between the pool and the courts to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

The city doesn't have the additional funds in its budget, Deputy City Manger Ben Siegel said.

The city proposed an alternative plan at a reduced cost that did not include post-tension courts.

Three vendors provided quotes between $127,000 and $218,000 for hydroblasting five of the six courts — one court already has post-tension cables — removing and replacing damaged concrete, patching cracks, grinding high spots and applying three layers of paint, the city staff report said. Crews would also repair the plaster facade along Park Avenue and a damaged block wall along one of the courts.

"We feel [the work] would bring those courts to the same standard of maintenance as all of our city courts," Siegel said. The city maintains 12 additional tennis courts, with at least six having post-tension.

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