Court remodel ‘worth the sacrifice’

$260,000 project is on schedule and should be finished by mid-September

concrete was poured Thursday to fill trenches dug to bury electrical conduit for new light poles.

Photo by Adam Lapierre.
concrete was poured Thursday to fill trenches dug to bury electrical conduit for new light poles.

For area tennis players, the timing couldn’t be worse to have the city’s only public courts torn up and unusable, but for those who have played on the ever-cracking concrete surface of the May Street courts (Tsuruta Courts) over the years, another month of waiting, or playing elsewhere, will be well worth the sacrifice.

About a month into the $260,000-plus project, crews from Crestline Construction were busy Thursday pouring concrete to fill trenches that were cut into the courts to connect electrical conduit to new light post footings installed at mid-court. When completed, the court’s two old light fixtures will be moved to the outside edges and two new fixtures will be located between the three courts.

“Right now the project is on schedule, but we’re unsure of exactly when the new light poles will arrive,” said Mark Lago, City of Hood River Public Works director. “We’re hoping they’ll get here the first week of August but we don’t know.”

Lago said overlaying of the new court surface will have to wait until the light posts are installed, so the estimated completion date of early September is still possible, but will depend on when the posts are delivered.

In the meantime, a new French drain system around the perimeter has been installed to prevent the shifting and cracking problems that have plagued the courts for years, an ADA ramp will be installed and volunteer work parties are being planned for later this fall to do landscaping work and other finishing touches.

“It’s exciting that this is finally happening,” said Leslie Kerr, local tennis coach and Hood River Tennis Court Committee board member. “I know people have been a little upset that we are doing construction in the middle of summer, but with the new court we chose to go with, it really couldn’t have been done any other time of the year. When it’s done, it will have been worth the sacrifice.”

With a price tag of about $132,000, the new surface, called “Premiere Court” will be laid over the current one, once it is leveled and sealed. The new surface is designed to be a low-maintenance, high-endurance option that comes with a 25-year warranty.

Fed up with constantly repairing cracks and playing and coaching on an unsafe surface, Kerr and the HRTCC spearheaded fundraising efforts for the renovation project. A major source of the funding — about $178,000 — came in the form of grants from the U.S. Tennis Association and Oregon Parks and Recreation. Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation added $8,000, the City of Hood River came up with about $25,000 and about another $60,000 came from individual and business donations.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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