By COLE REIF
Great Bend Post
The tennis court improvement project began in 2018 with upgrades made to the courts at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Great Bend. Two years ago, a collective funding effort resurfaced the eight tennis courts at the park.
Following a summer storm, the fencing surrounding the tennis courts suffered major damage. The storm damaged fencing has accelerated the timeline to replace the original fencing that was installed in 1970.
The Great Bend Recreation Commission is moving forward with gathering bids to install new fencing at both the east and west courts. Great Bend Rec Executive Director Diann Henderson says there is also thought on some concrete work to alleviate drainage issues.
"In assessing the needs through input from tennis coaches, the school district and city officials, there is some drainage that the city is going to need to address around the tennis court areas," said Henderson. "I plan on sending an RFP out for concrete work for some of the areas that are low around the tennis courts."
The City of Great Bend notified the Recreation Commission they are wanting to contribute insurance funding to help replace the fencing, but have yet to finish the insurance process for the storm-damaged materials.
An estimate from 2018, calculated it would cost approximately $70,000 to replace the fence. Henderson noted the new fence will be similar to the exiting material but will be black to improve the aesthetics.
Once fencing and concrete work is addressed, the Rec Commission would like to construct shade ports on the east tennis courts for spectators, similar to the west courts’ shade structures.
"We hope to solicit any potential donors to assist us with these projects," said Henderson. "We want to put some sun ports in on the east tennis courts, but that is after we complete the fencing and concrete work."
It is hoped to complete the replacement of the tennis court fencing yet this fall.