Hutchinson residents looking for a place to play tennis will soon have new courts to enjoy. The renovation projects of the Park Elementary and Hutchinson High School tennis courts are expected to be finished by Aug. 26.
According to Brian Mohr, Hutchinson Public Schools building director, the plan is to begin laying the padding and turning the court lights on. In February, Mohr recommended post-tensioned concrete as flooring for the courts.
“It sits on top of the existing blacktop and floats on top of that,” Mohr said during the meeting. “So any frost movement you get doesn’t telegraph through and bust it up like a traditional method would. ... From a playability standpoint, it’s a lot flatter than a traditional court.”
Post-tensioned concrete is unique in that it doesn’t require any excavation into the ground. It’s also estimated to last longer than traditional concrete.
Duininck Inc. of Prinsburg was given the bid from the School Board to renovate the courts at the High School, and R&R Excavating was given the bid from the City Council to renovate the Park Elementary courts.
Dolf Moon, Hutchinson parks director, said the Park Elementary courts were in dire need of repair and in danger of being shut down before the renovations.
“Some of the fencing was still there from the 1950s. It had seen its better days,” Moon said. “There were cracks that were three fingers wide, and they were offset so there were tripping hazards.”
The new courts at Hutchinson High School will be exclusively all tennis courts since the boys and girls tennis teams use them for competition. The Park Elementary courts will feature both tennis and pickleball courts.
“At the end of the day, there will be four concrete tennis courts at Park Elementary and seven pickleball courts,” Moon said. “They’re striped. One will be permanent where anyone would be able to drive up and play on the court. The other seven will involve setting up a pickleball net. Thankfully, we have a lot of pickleball players. There’s probably 70 or 80 guys that play on a regular basis.”