Journal Express, Knoxville, IA


April 3, 2014

Surface of tennis courts to be discussed

Knoxville — The surfaces of the tennis courts at Young's Park in Knoxville are nearing the end of the typical 5-7 year life cycle. Effects from this past brutal winter have really brought out their age.

The courts were last surfaced in 2007 by the Knoxville School District. Young's Park was transferred to the City of Knoxville decades ago. In 2007, after some discussion among the Knoxville School Board and City Council, the CIty and school district entered into a new agreement, valid through June 1, 2017.

Per the agreement, the City is responsible for the electric bill, parking lot and structures. Within the past three years, one of the lights at the courts was blown over and replaced by the City. As for the surface of the courts, and the nets, responsibility for those lies with the school district. 

'The tennis courts was discussed in the fall," Knoxville Schools Superintendent Randy Flack said. "At that time, we filled the seams between the courts in order to reduce the potential for injuries.  (That was done after contacting a contractor who specializes in tennis court surfaces.)  At the fall meeting, it was determined that we would gather information about complete resurfacing and repair, this spring.  I have already contacted the owner of the company who resurfaced the courts in 2007." 

Knoxville City Manager Harold Stewart said that the school district and City each carry liability insurance for the courts. He added that there has been previous discussion about the courts, in regard to drainage issues around the courts. The City has tried to alleviate some of these problems in the past. 

"They need to be resurfaced," Joel Tonda, retired longtime Knoxville tennis coach. The courts are named in his honor. Typically, tennis courts are resurfaced every five to seven years. He said the current condition of the courts do present a danger and a liability factor. Speaking as a citizen, player and former coach, he does not want to put anyone at risk. 

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Upon completion and reopening of Third Street, should the City of Knoxville wait to start the next stage of the Streetscape and Infrastructure project until 2015?

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