Springville-Griffith Institute tennis courts declared unsafe by Section 6
The courts have been declared hazardous for use by the Section 6 Athletic Council, requiring the S-GI varsity tennis team to relocate to Springville Village-owned courts for practices and Pioneer Central School courts for games, at least for the fall season.
According to Springville Mayor William Krebs, a contract was drawn up by Village Attorney Audrey Seeley to allow the tennis team to use the village courts for practice from Aug. 20 – Oct. 15 from 3 – 5 p.m. The S-GI School District will be required to pay for signage announcing those reservations, to be posted at the village courts.
“It is our hope that the school board repairs and maintains those courts for the students,” Krebs said. If the tennis team needs to use the village courts for the spring season, Krebs said another agreement will have to be ratified.
S-GI Maintenance Mechanic Crew Chief Larry Strauss explained the problem with the S-GI courts at the Aug. 15 board of education meeting.
“Climate and weather have started catching up to us,” Strauss said, as he explained that the material used for the courts begins to wear down after a few years. “Resurfacing is not feasible. We can do an overlay of 1 1/2 inches, but sooner or later, what’s underneath starts to reflect. We’ve got to get down there, prepare the sub-base and make sure there’s proper drainage. Otherwise, we can put a 1 1/2 [inch] overlay on top and it’ll look like a million bucks now, but then you’ve gotta replace that in a year.”
“[The reason the tennis courts have not been resealed] always boils down to the budget. If it wasn’t in the budget, I wasn’t getting my hands on [the funds required]. Trust me, I’d have done it already, if I could.”
“It’s not just a playability issue; it’s a potential tripping hazard,” said Superintendent Paul Connelly.
Board Member Janine Caimano said she was “not surprised it looks like that.
“The board should have appropriated funds for it a long time ago,” she said. “[Then] we wouldn’t have this problem.”
Strauss said the resurfacing issue is not limited to the tennis courts, although those facilities show the most wear and tear.
“It’s time to resurface our track to reseal it,” he said. “The numbers are so big, I’ve never been able to work with any business administrator, since I’ve been here, to harness those funds. It’s just a lot of money. It’s not that I didn’t dialogue with them about it, but these are big ticket items.”
Board President Mel Williams acknowledged the importance of “establishing maintenance contracts.
“If we don’t maintain our own systems, it costs a lot more later,” he noted.
Connelly said that the tennis teams will stagger practices on the village’s two courts and will hold its home meets at Pioneer.
“We lucked out, with Pioneer’s cooperation,” Connelly said.
Springville Village Board Member Nils Wikman said that he hoped the school would repair the tennis courts “in a timely manner” so that village residents can also utilize the facilities.
“The school has been using the town park for baseball for years, but the [tennis practice schedule] precludes residents and we want to make sure they’re not monopolized,” he explained.
Wikman also noted that the village courts have been resurfaced three times since the S-GI courts were, which he called “necessary preventative measures.
“When you’re under a financial crunch, you’ve got to do regular maintenance, to mitigate a larger issue,” Wikman said. “You’ve got to stay on top of it.”
Wikman said that, although he could not speak to the specific repairs necessary at the S-GI courts, resurfacing can run in the “thousands of dollars,” but that he would not expect it to exceed $10,000 to resurface and repair cracked pavement, assuming no specialized materials were used.
“It’s like a driveway,” he explained. “You’ve got to take care of the asphalt.”
Strauss said that it had been estimated that, to replace S-GI’s tennis courts completely, would cost a “rough quote” of approximately $200,000.