Court surfacing under way

The project isn’t finished but the improvements are clearly obvious. Construction at Hammond Park is progressing nicely. It’s very colorful, too.

Some workers were pouring green Plexipave around brilliant blue rectangles at the Hammond Park tennis courts while others could be seen working on the headquarters building and nearby basketball courts Monday afternoon. According to a contractor, a second coat of Plexipave will be needed before striping of the tennis courts will begin.

The courts are coated with DecoTurf in stunning U.S. Open blue, making for a beautiful appearing playing area. DecoTurf is called the “tennis surface of champions” the same material that comprises the surface of the courts used at the U.S. Open. When set off with white striping the courts will have a very professional appearance.

“They picked out nice colors, green and blue,” said Ron Merritt, Minot Parks executive director. “That coating acts as a final leveler, too. There was really tight specs on the concrete pour. The coating will take care of any minor imperfections. So far we’re very happy.”

Hammond Park contained eight tennis courts and two basketball courts prior to the renovation. The aging asphalt coating had become too broken and cracked to permit further repair. Patches were simply not holding. Surface breaks were numerous.

The new layout will feature 10 tennis courts, two of them lit for night play, and two basketball courts. The extra tennis courts and lighting will allow for improved court assignments for tennis tournaments.

The basketball courts have been moved to the opposite side of First Street Northeast from where they were located. Surfacing of those courts is expected to begin in the next few days. Out of bounds areas, the free throw lane and three point lines will all be striped once the surface is poured and cured. A new picnic shelter and playground area are being constructed adjacent to the basketball courts.

All of the courts are surrounded by impressive appearing coated fencing that gives the entire complex a uniform appearance. Bleacher seating will be installed for spectators wishing to view the action on the main courts.

“We’ve got new bleachers coming in. Thanks to the Minot Area Tennis Association we’ll have some of the niceties that we didn’t have before,” said Merritt. “We’ll have bleachers on the two main courts and other bleachers spread out around the other courts as well.”

The anticipated completion date for the project is Sept. 30. According to Merritt, a few tennis tournaments have already been scheduled for play after that date.