The Apple Valley tennis courts look beautiful and have received praise from those playing tennis. But one person believes that beauty is just skin deep and that future problems will develop.
Jim Black has expressed strong concerns during two town council meetings about the new tennis courts at Apple Valley. He brought in a piece of material which he said came from the new tennis courts. He brought photographs showing some pinholes in the new surface. He said water in the pinholes and in the sleeve for the net posts will cause future damage to the courts.
Amber Kleinman, a Paonia councilwoman on the parks committee, has examined the courts and found nothing wrong with the surface and no pieces or chunks of surface missing.
While the Town of Paonia owns the tennis courts at Apple Valley Park, it is the North Fork Pool, Park and Recreation District that leases the courts, insures and maintains them. A GOCO grant paid for the resurfacing by Renner Sports. They installed a post-tensioned concrete court.
"I walked [the courts] and didn't see anything wrong. The reason why we used the post-tensioned slab concrete is because the asphalt deteriorates over time. The concrete has a much longer life span than the asphalt. That's why we went with it," Esther Koontz of the rec district said.
Koontz said Black has never called the rec district or stopped by the office to share his complaints.
Brian Benson, who coaches the boys' high school tennis team, told Koontz the only problem they had was some vandalism to the tension wire that holds nets up.
The team took care of the problem themselves. That has been the only problem since the tennis courts opened. The tennis team was so appreciative, they told Koontz, "They are so wonderful to play on. Thank you."
Koontz did say there is one small crack on the walkway to the tennis courts which will be repaired by the concrete contractor next spring.
"The tennis court players were out there every day through the first part of October. None of them had complaints. I haven't heard from anybody else in the tennis community about any problems," Koontz said.
Lisa Cook oversaw the project for the rec district while she was on the board. She had prior experience in building tennis courts.
According to Koontz, the surface itself will need to be redone after five to 10 years, but the concrete will be fine. The surface material over time starts to wear because of UV rays and the weather.
This is the only tennis court the North Fork rec district has, and this is the first negative comment they have had.
Brian Renner of Renner Sports said, "The colored surface is not thick. At best it is as thick as a credit card. It's just three layers of paint and each layer has sand mixed into the paint."
Renner agreed with Koontz that UV rays, weather and people cause wear to the surface. "Everything will cause it to wear but it should last six to eight years in pretty good condition," he said.
The concrete under the surface has cables running north/south and east/west. "After the concrete is hard we grab the cables and stretch them," Renner said. "The idea is, I cannot stop concrete from cracking, however I can put the slab under compression that stop cracks from happening."
Renner said water can damage the surface if it doesn't drain off. But the Apple Valley courts are sloped and water drains off the surface. Asked if people should be worried about water damage, Renner replied, "You don't need to worry about that."
Regarding the pinholes Black found and which he believes will cause water damage, Renner said not to expect water damage to the surface or concrete.
"We have been doing [concrete slab] for over 30 years now and we don't have any major structural problems yet," Renner said.
Is there any chance for water damage with the sleeve the poles are set in?
"No. We recommend the posts be removed in the winter and the nets be taken down," Renner said. "But most people leave them up all the time, and the only real consequence you will face, your net will wear out sooner because it is outside all winter."
Water will get in the sleeves for the poles holding the nets. Renner recommends draining out the sleeve, but if you drain it out today and put the net posts back in, there will be water in there in a week. "Keeping that dry all the time is just unrealistic. I don't know anyone that does it," he said.
"Nine times out of 10 we put [courts] in for a parks and rec district somewhere and they get maintenanced if a net breaks or we resurface once a decade. We recommend every six to eight years; however, nine times out of 10 that doesn't happen. In a perfect world you would take the nets down Thanksgiving and then come next spring you would drain the sleeves and put the net posts back in and re-hang the net. But if you leave everything up for 10 years you would most likely be just fine," Renner said.
Most people don't take down the nets and are just fine. "The worst consequence you could possibly face is maybe the paint peels a little bit around the net post sleeve. Not a big deal," he added. "After 15-plus years of zero maintenance and perpetual water being there the post rusts and breaks. Keep in mind that is with zero maintenance."
Renner said, "Leaves will stain the surface if left on the surface and decay over the winter. So, ideally you would blow all the leaves off after they have fallen off your trees. Will it damage it or break it? No. Will it leave a big ugly black mark, yes."
About the Apple Valley tennis court, Renner said, "It was built to last with very little maintenance. I would plan on resurfacing between every six to eight years and I would recommend taking the net down in the winter. But there should not be any problem at all this year, next year or in 15 years. It's just going to be taking care of the paint which is easy because if there's a problem with paint, you just put down more paint."blog comments powered by Disqus