College serving up new tennnis courts

Home Sports College serving up new tennnis courts

Brian McLellan
The Corsair

New tennis courts are nearing completion at the main campus of Pensacola State College.

The renovations to the courts, located next to the Lou Ross Center at the 12th Avenue entrance to the college, were commissioned earlier this fall.  Despite the appearance of  delays in construction, the courts are still on pace for the original scheduled completion date of Nov. 7.

“We were starting to worry that we might have had to push back the tennis tournament,” said Intramural Director Doug Rogers, “but things are looking good.  They should be putting the finishing touches on later this week.”

According to Rogers, the delay is possibly due to the 30 day curing period for the new asphalt that serves as the base for the new courts.  During this process, all of the oils in the asphalt must be removed before the final top layer of asphalt is laid, followed by the top coat of paint.

“(The contractors) were out there today putting the new sod in,” Rogers said.

The renovation to the tennis courts have been long overdue; the last time the courts were redone was in 2001 when the entire Lou Ross Center underwent renovations.

“I’m not sure what happened, but soon after (the courts) were renovated last time, they started cracking and wearing down,” Rogers said.  “This time they’re using a different professional grade material, so we shouldn’t have that same problem again.  These things should last us for quite a while.”

The refurbishment of the tennis courts is costing the college $151,833.50, according to the Comptrollers office.  All of those funds are being paid for by the colleges Capital Improvement Fee, meaning the new playing surface is being completely financed by the students.

The Capital Improvement Fee for the 2011-12 school year is $7.54 per credit for a Florida resident. The average full-time enrollee at the college pays $90.48 for a 12 credit schedule, meaning that the funding for the new tennis courts came from the fees of roughly 1,678 full-time students.

“It’s good to see the money going to something that I think I’d end up using,” said Lexie Woodson.  “The only reason I’ve never used the tennis courts before was because of how bad of shape they looked with all the cracks.  I’d definitely be out there more if they were in better shape.”

The renovations were scheduled to be completed by Nov. 7, but the process has already had an effect on several people throughout the college.

According to Rogers, three courses had to be cancelled for the fall term, as well as the cancellation of a daily senior citizens group that uses the courts in the morning hours.

“Once this thing is finished, I’m sure there will be more than just the seniors and the classes using these things,” Rogers said.

“I’m excited to see how they are,” said Tim Haynie. “I took a tennis class last summer and the cracks made it very difficult to play on.  It might be nice to be able to try again on a nicer surface.”