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Longboat Key Friday, Aug. 30, 2019 9 months ago

Longboat Key overhauls three tennis courts

The project should be done within the next 3-4 weeks.
by: Sten Spinella Staff Writer

The town is sprucing up three of the Public Tennis Center's 10 courts in time for season, with plans to do three more in the future. 

Courts 1-3 have been dug up, and a contractor is working on installing a new irrigation and drain system.

“We expect them to be completed in the next three weeks or so,” Town Manager Tom Harmer said. “We're doing it during the summer because it's a little bit slower. And then, two years from now, we'll do the next three courts.” 

The price tag for the project is $153,000, and it’s coming out of this year’s town budget. Tennis Center Director Kay Thayer said the endeavor isn’t a luxury, but a necessity. 

“It was hard to keep things safe for the tennis players,” Thayer said. “When it would rain, they [the courts] wouldn’t drain, and we would take the whole day before we could get on the court.”

Some of the tennis center courts are looking a bit different at the moment. Photo taken Aug. 29, 2019.

Also, clay courts typically need to be gently watered from time to time to keep them playable. The irrigation system is similar to an underground lawn sprinkler system. 

Thayer and folks at the tennis center are excited about this year’s renovations and those taking place down the line. The work will bring better drainage and other improvements.

“It’s tough for us when the courts have to be shut down for that long,” Thayer said. “It's a big project for us and the town. This was a long time coming.”

Tennis center memberships go from between $160 for a single-person seasonal plan and $815 for the full-year family plan. People can reserve a spot to play as long as it's at least three days in advance. Open play times include 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., noon., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.


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