Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Parks Committee Meets for Discussion on Court Repair

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Parks Committee Meets for Discussion on Court Repair

Article excerpt

The heavily used Schoenbaum tennis courts are due for resurfacing, but the work can't be done without first addressing drainage issues that have worsened the courts' quality. City Council's Committee on Parks and Recreation met Friday at the Kanawha City Community Center to discuss what should be done to ensure the public courts' sustainability in the coming years.

The committee voted to make a recommendation that the city publish a request for quotes to determine the best way to mitigate issues of standing water that seeps up between the cracks in the courts' asphalt.

Sherry Risk, executive projects administrator for the City Manager's Officer, explained the workers recently did core drillings, soil testing and water level monitoring at locations around the courts to determine what's causing the drainage problems.

Creating what Risk referred to as a "natural collection bowl, the soil composition that comprises much of the land beneath the courts "basically dams the water and won't allow [it] to go through.

On warm days, the water that's ponded beneath the courts rises up through the cracks in the courts as the asphalt heats up, she added.

"The courts act like a sponge that sits on top [of the water], Risk said. "It just collects and can't escape.

The committee agreed an independent designer is needed to determine the most effective drainage system for the courts - or whether it would simply suffice to raise their elevation by a few feet.

"The challenge is, the grade on the back of the property sits lower than the creek and hill, so you can build a drain, but you have to take it somewhere, Risk said. "You're going to [need] a pump because the grade is lower than where you're sending it.

City Councilman Jack Harrison, who was listening in on speaker phone, urged the committee that time is of the essence, since the courts are used annually for state high school tennis tournaments. …

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