Work Continues on HS Tennis Court Renovation has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

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Times Record News (Wichita Falls, Texas)


The Wichita Falls ISD has completed some major athletic upgrades over the past year - about $5 million of renovations funded by tax maintenance notes that, so far, have included the installation of five turf fields and the re-do of three tracks.

But what has yet to make it to center court: the completion of renovations to 10 tennis courts at Hirschi High School and McNiel Middle School.

The tennis court overhaul has started at those schools - repairs began the first week of August at Hirschi - but with construction crews working concurrently on other projects while the Wichita Falls ISD made decisions about the tennis court facelift, and with some cold weather in November preventing crews from laying down acrylic surfaces, the project won't be completed for a several more weeks.

In the meantime, Hirschi and McNiel students are sharing tennis courts with other campuses in the district.

In July 2016, trustees approved awarding a bid of almost $150,000 to Austin-based Hellas Construction for the overhaul. That's about $90,000 for asphalt removal and resurfacing at Hirschi and $60,000 for the same work at McNiel. The district originally budgeted $225,000 for the project.

Athletic Director Scot Hafley said Tuesday that a hard end date to the project was not set: "Everything about this project has been a wait-and-see."

He said he has heard from at least one parent who expressed frustration that the project has not been completed.

He also has heard that the construction work is affecting at least one Hirschi student's International Baccalaureate project, a requirement for the IB program. Hafley said a student would not be denied credit if construction work prevented the project's completion. The student would, however, be responsible for turning in a statement saying why the project could not be done.

Hafley said the district took a look at its athletic needs some time ago.

One project it wanted to tackle was refurbishing the six tennis courts at Hirschi and four at McNiel, which were considered to be in the worst shape.

"The district at some point in time, with these post-tensioned concrete tennis courts, laid asphalt on them. ... We wanted to take those layers of asphalt off."

Hafley said the new tennis courts will be resurfaced concrete courts topped by acrylic layers. Most of the tennis courts in the district are concrete courts, he added.

Crews in August started the tennis court re-do at Hirschi, where they discovered that two courts were added to four existing courts and that the courts were not flush. A seating area was placed, on asphalt, between the existing courts and the newer courts and is where a concave area has developed over time.

At that time, "We still hadn't taken off the asphalt at McNiel," Hafley said. "We thought, we're not going to do any more work at Hirschi until we take the (asphalt) tops off at McNiel."

It was at McNiel where the tennis courts have been beset by flooding in the past and where the district thought it might find problems.

"We were pretty fortunate the concrete was in good shape (at both schools)," Hafley said.

The district completed minor concrete crack repairs and acid-washed the concrete.

One of the flies in the ointment in completing the project, Hafley said, was that, while the district was making decisions on what to do with its courts, Hellas' tennis crews had moved on to projects they were working on concurrently at other schools.

"We simply have to wait our turn like everybody else," Hafley said.

Also, the courts' acrylic surfaces could not be laid down in November because the cold weather affects the acrylic.

Hafley said although the tennis courts will be concrete, the seating areas will retain some asphalt. Crews have poured the asphalt, "so everything is smooth and level."

The asphalt has to cure for about three weeks. After 20 days, acrylic will be laid down.

The district's bid with Hellas includes not just asphalt removal but applying one coat of acrylic resurfacer to the courts and two coats of acrylic color coating, a primer coat and line paint.

Hafley said, while this wait-and-see project is still several weeks away from completion, the tennis courts, which were in such bad shape before, "are going to look great."

Follow Times Record News senior editor/reporter Lana Sweeten-Shults on Twitter @LanaSweetenShul.


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February 8, 2017


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