A complete overhaul of the tennis courts at Carroll County High School is scheduled to be completed by the time school starts on Aug. 7.
Due to large cracks in the playing surfaces, the tennis courts at CCHS have been shut down on two different occasions over the past 18 months. The courts were initially shut down in March of 2013 prior to a scheduled boys’ tennis match with Galax High School. The cracks were patched in and reopened later that year, but were again shut down in May of this year due to safety concerns.
“They were cracked terribly. Last year during the season we had to close the courts for a while because the courts were so bad. We did have our maintenance group patch them, basically patch in the cracks with concrete mixture. It allowed us to finish up the last part of the season last year,” said Strader Blankenship, Superintendent of Carroll County Schools. “We played this season with them, but the traction wasn’t as good as it should have been and the cracks were returning. We were concerned we were going to get somebody hurt. So we closed them again this year and went to bid and got a company to come in.”
According to Blankenship, the low bidder came in and took out the asphalt surface all the way to the base. The result has been a much safer and much more aesthetically pleasing tennis court that should last for many years.
“The company that came in did a really nice job. They had machines designed for tennis courts. It’s not supposed have to have ponding when it rains. They still have to put the posts up for the nets and then they have to do the latex coating on top and mark it off. We’ve asked that be done before school starts,” Blankenship said. “We are excited because the last three or four years we have been playing with cracks and I was afraid we would get somebody hurt. It was becoming a real liability and those courts are used by everybody, not just the school system. We were afraid someone would get on there in the evening and not see the cracks, so I feel much better liability wise.”
The renovation of the tennis courts came with an added bonus, Blankenship said. The old asphalt that was removed from the courts was crushed into a fine mixture and used to make a new auxiliary parking area beside the existing tennis court parking lot.
“It gave us probably 16 to 20 more parking spaces, so that was kind of a win-win for us,” Blankenship said.
Blankenship said the project cost approximately $153,000 and was funded with leftover money from a recent sale of land.
“It wasn’t a budgeted item,” Blankenship said.
Allen Worrell can be reached by calling (276) 728-7311 or on Twitter@AWorrellTCN