City, district discuss long-lasting tennis court options

City and Laguna Beach Unified School District officials want to pursue post-tension overlay for the tennis courts adjacent to Laguna Beach High School.

"We think [post-tension] courts are a good idea, they have a more durable playing surface," community services director Ben Siegel said Monday.

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

School district and city officials discussed the proposed project for five of the six tennis courts at a meeting last week.

The city is open to possibly funding part of the cost of post-tension courts if the district decides to go that route, Siegel said.

School district officials also want to pursue post-tension, school district facilities director Ted Doughty said Wednesday.

This method is in contrast to sandblasting and adding a new synthetic surface, Doughty said in an earlier Coastline Pilot story.

The project's budget is still being worked out, according to Doughty.

City and district officials are negotiating their joint-use agreement, which currently has the city paying 70% of costs while the district picks up the remaining 30%.

The city allocated an additional $100,000 in its 2013-14 budget for the tennis court project, Siegel said.

And city staff has discussed possibly providing another $125,000 to help toward cost of post-tension, Siegel said in a follow-up conversation Wednesday.

The project, without post-tension, was estimated to cost $300,000, with the city paying $210,000 while the district contributed $90,000, according to a budget estimate included with the March 25 school board meeting agenda.

At that meeting, board members voted to not award a contract to Sprotte + Watson Architecture and Planning Inc. to produce design plans for the project without having more information.

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.

One of the six courts has post-tension slabs. Residents have called for court repairs, worried that cracks are getting worse, create an uneven playing surface and pose dangers for players.

Both city and school district officials agree the courts need to be repaired and the surrounding fence upgraded, but each entity has its own list of added priorities.

The city favors court lighting and player benches while district officials prefer adding spectator seating, a shade structure over the bleachers and a storage area.

If funding becomes tight, bleachers already at the courts could be used for spectators, Doughty said.

The next step is a facilities committee public meeting to gain residents' feedback, but a date has not been scheduled, Doughty said.

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