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Tennis Courts Receive Needed Make-Over


Bulldozers, safety fences, and a crew of laborers are not common sights seen on campus. However, these sights will become more common as preparations for reconstruction of the tennis courts commence.

Repairing the tennis courts is not a new topic of discussion- it has been going on for five years. “[The cause for the delay has] been being able to try to get funds for the project, and just waiting for our turn to get on the Capital Improvement Funds,” maintenance and construction coordinator R.L Knott said.

Initial plans for the reconstruction began months before school started. According to the unofficial synopsis of the School Board Meeting on Aug 12, the district, at the time, was in the process of finalizing the construction plans to forward to the Board of Supervisors for approval.

In September the bidding process began. The school board acquired help from Moseley Architects to help with the process that would lead to the reconstruction of the courts.

“[The county] put up a bid to be awarded to the lowest bidder because it [the budget for reconstruction] went over the county’s budget,” Knott said.

Moseley Architects chose Finley Asphalt and Sealing to complete the project under the stipulation that the cost for the renovations could not exceed $560,000.

According to the tennis court update and bidding approval by Knott at the regular meeting of the school board for the month of October, other stipulations in the agreement with Finley Asphalt and Sealing include adding these entities: six lights poles and a stone base below the tennis court surface. Finley also has to make the courts ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant.

This means that the courts have to have ramps, sidewalks, and other accommodations for the disabled.

All of the repairs and remodeling have to substantially be met by Jan. 31, 2014. Final completion has to be done by Feb. 14.

A huge question on many tennis players’ minds is: what happens if the courts are not completed on time?

“Since the school board waited so late in the year, I’m worried that the courts won’t be ready for preseason conditioning and for the rest of the season,” junior Jessie Chiasson said.

The school board office has set aside money that will be used to purchase liquidated assessments. This means that the county will lease tennis courts for the team to use, if necessary, until the reconstruction is completed.

Many players are concerned that the reconstruction will hamper the upcoming


“Absolutely [reconstruction will affect the season] because we won’t be able to practice on our own courts,” junior Jessica Rogers said.

In addition to the reconstruction, the tennis team is facing other challenges. The school redistricted, the seniors from last year are gone, and the team has a new coach Lawson “Scott” McCormick, who is the tennis pro at the Petersburg Country Club.

Most opinions of the tennis team favor the reconstruction, but there are still some apprehensions.

“I’m glad that someone is supporting our team and that our courts will be of the same caliber as our team,” Chiasson said. “However, since the school board has waited so long [to start reconstruction] I feel like they’re hesitant to really support our team, and that’s a little offensive.”

With the many challenges that the team is facing, most are trying to stay positive.

“Basically my mentality is that everything is new,” Rogers said. “It’s a chance to start over and improve.”

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