Officials discuss tennis court improvements

Both Laguna Beach Unified School District and city staff agree the tennis courts at Laguna Beach High School need improvement and upgrades. The question is: How extensive will the project be?

The six courts that sit across Park Avenue from school grounds are used by both high school players and community members. Community members account for 70% of court usage while high school teams use the facility for practices and matches 30% of the time, according to Dean West, the school district's assistant superintendent of business services.

School officials presented the board of education with an estimate of costs for different levels of the project in a memo during the Jan. 22 board meeting.

Per the district's direction, an outside firm, Sprotte Watson Architecture & Planning, compiled ideas generated during a meeting between the city and school district in October 2012 and was instructed to work with an estimating firm to project probable costs for particular improvements.

West, referring to the Jan. 22 memo, said the city has set aside $210,000, while the school district is projected to allocate $90,000.

"Both parties agree the project should begin with resurfacing the courts and replacing fences surrounding the courts," the memo states.

The first option would cost $314,172 and include new synthetic playing surfaces for the six courts. The fencing would be replaced with vinyl-clad chain link and perimeter windscreens.

A more extensive resurfacing project with post-tension slabs would cost $617,900. Both the school district and city staff have determined that this option is "unobtainable given both agencies' current financial resources," according to the Jan. 22 memo.

Added projects such as a shade structure ($24,549), a repaired retaining wall ($17,636), court lighting ($20,285) and spectator seating ($11,822) would increase the cost from $672,000 to $1.2 million.

A City Council subcommittee and school district representatives will meet to discuss the tennis courts and other facilities in the city to determine priorities for funding, but a date has not been set, City Manager John Pietig said.

The city has not received a proposal from the school district outlining how more projects would be paid for in addition to the resurfacing, Pietig said.

Twitter: @AldertonBryce

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