Committee Seeks New Tennis Court Plans

ST. MARYS — After holding a meeting Wednesday evening, a local school official will be requesting new architectural plans regarding tennis courts.

The St. Marys Board of Education’s Building and Grounds Committee met to discuss options about the district’s tennis courts during a meeting Tuesday at the district offices.

Business Manager Kurt Kuffner presented multiple options to the committee during the meeting — options such as resurfacing the current complex with a new material, continuing basic court reconditioning and building a new complex at the high school-middle school building.

“I say we do what we can to get them to the new site, that’s my opinion,” Memorial High School Principal Dave Lewis said. “As far as configuration and how many and everything — I just think the more we can do out at the new site, the better. I think any money we sink in down at the old site is a waste.”

Board Member Rees McKee noted in the past the board spent between $40,000 to $50,000 on the courts at the current site of the tennis complexes near Skip Baughman Stadium.

“Now we’re back to filling cracks every year,” McKee said. “I’m not for spending any money down there. Those things have been a nightmare.”

McKee added the current courts are not sitting on a stable base.

“It’s unsuitable conditions for what it’s intended to be,” Board Member Ralph Wiley said. “I’m against spending any money on a surface system just because the other conditions are going to continue to exist — it’s a one-year band-aid in my eyes because if cracks are reappearing annually, we go that first year, then this cracking and the infiltration we have are going to get worse.”

The option of moving the courts to the new building would also enable the physical education classes to utilize the courts, which they aren’t able to do currently.

“Really with the setup we have now, the kids are really missing out as far as the phys ed program, and that’s an integral part of the curriculum, and it’s not practical to bus the kids back and forth for phys ed to the tennis courts,” Superintendent Jerry Skiver said.

The options eventually were narrowed down to either having six courts all in a row or two sets of three courts staggered, with both options being located at the high school-middle school complex. Committee members were concerned with the staggered option’s proximity to State Route 66.

“I get a little bit leery about (that one),” Spencer said. “That scares me.”

The preliminary estimate for the new, staggered six court tennis complex at the new building is approximately $368,000, but committee members requested Kuffner call the architects, MSA Sport, today requesting new drawings that would feature six courts in a row, adjacent to the student parking lot on the high school side of the building, with the spacing between courts depicted in the staggered option, fencing options and a reduced contingency amount.

Committee members set up another meeting, to be held at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the district offices, to discuss the new design.