Tennis courts to get $316,700 remodel

Princeton High School tennis players will be serving up volleys on newly refurbished tennis courts this fall.

The news comes after the Princeton School Board approved a $316,700 bid from Midwest Asphalt to reconstruct the courts. The bid came in about $35,000 under the $350,000 cap the board had earmarked for the project.

In addition to the eight refurbished courts, there will be two new courts constructed to make a 10-court tennis center. Space for spectator seating will also be incorporated into the design. The school district will use existing bleachers at the tennis courts.

Three contractors submitted bids for the project: low-bidder Midwest Asphalt, Frattalone Companies of St. Paul and Knife River. The contractors bid on four separate plans: eight courts with no seating, eight courts with seating, 10 courts with no seating and 10 courts with seating. In addition, there were four identical bid options that included fully excavating the earth under the tennis courts and replacing the base soil.

A lengthy discussion centered around the quality of the soil beneath the existing tennis courts.

After viewing results of soil boring tests commissioned at the tennis court site, the district’s project engineer supported keeping the existing soil intact.

“If they were my courts, I would forego the soil replacement,” said Kraig Klund of Clark Engineering.

The soil tests showed that the soil beneath the courts wasn’t that bad.

“Actually, it’s pretty good,” Klund said.

“If they were my courts, knowing what I know, I’d say this is the way to go,” he said of keeping the soil intact.

At the end of the day, the school board opted to take Midwest Asphalt’s $316,700 bid for 10 courts with seating that would leave the existing soil in place. Frattalone bid $350,000 on the project, Knife River $425,000.

The new tennis courts will not only give PHS tennis players a good surface to play on, it will give the high school the ability to host conference and section tournaments, Superintendent Richard Lahn said. That’s something that isn’t possible on the crack-filled courts that stand today.