Tennis court resurfacing to go before city

The next two weeks may go a long way toward determining the fate of the Laguna Beach High School tennis courts.

Governing bodies for the city and Laguna Beach Unified School District will vote on an extensive resurfacing project for five of the six tennis courts, which community members have complained are full of cracks and covered with dirt from hillside runoff.

District staff will ask the school board's permission at Tuesday's meeting to solicit bids for a construction project that includes post-tension courts, district facilities director Ted Doughty said in an email.

With post-tension courts, cables contained within a concrete slab are pulled to a certain degree to help prevent cracking and reduce maintenance.

The City Council plans to decide Sept. 3 whether to allot an additional $125,000 for the courts. The city has already set aside $100,000 in its 2013-14 budget for the project, according to community services director Ben Siegel.

The total cost of the project, which includes the resurfacing, fence and lighting repairs and the addition of lights, is estimated at $620,000.

The $125,000 from the city would be a five-year advance of its annual contribution to the district for its athletic facilities, according to a 40-page report from Doughty.

The city and district are working on terms of a joint-use agreement, which currently has the city paying 70% of a project's cost while the district funds 30%.

The estimated cost to resurface five courts with post-tension slabs is $286,400, according to Doughty's report, which included input from other school districts, contractors and architects.

One district court already has a post-tension slab.

To help show that the district's estimate is realistic, the report also included a quote from Orange-based Zaino Tennis Courts Inc., which estimated post-tension on five courts would cost $245,000.

The project also includes raising the height of an existing block wall by 8 to 30 inches to help block runoff from a surrounding hillside, installing wires for lights on two courts, and creating a shade structure for spectators, Doughty said.

The lights and shade structure would be presented to a potential bidder as line items and could be individually scratched depending on available funding, he said.

If the board approves the district's desire to solicit bids, staff hopes construction will begin and end next summer, Doughty said.

First, the courts will undergo a bit of a sprucing up in preparation for the high school girls' tennis season and will be closed next week, the district announced Monday.

Crews will close the courts from 6 a.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Saturday to remove loose materials, smooth over existing cracks and repaint with one coat of a nonskid surface, Doughty said.

The city, at 70%, and school district, at 30%, will cover the $9,000 cost of the repair work per the entities' joint-use agreement, Doughty said.

The last time all six courts were resurfaced was August 2008, but two have been resurfaced since then because of excessive cracking, according to Tom Toman, the city's recreation supervisor.

Repairs mean the Laguna Beach High girls' tennis team will practice at the six courts at Alta Laguna Park next week, team coach Don Davis said.

Davis said he doesn't consider the temporary relocation an inconvenience. "It just means we have to drive farther up the hill," he explained.

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