Fancyburg Park tennis players will be displaced over the next couple of weeks while their home courts receive a $40,000 facelift.
Provided Mother Nature cooperates, those who play tennis and pickleball at Fancyburg Park, 3375 Kioka Ave., should be able to return to their preferred venues by the middle of September.
When they do, they'll have brand new courts to use for the first time in 15 years.
Renovations to the asphalt at the park's four tennis courts, which also can accommodate eight pickleball courts, were slated to begin Sept. 4.
According to city officials, the work is needed because the courts haven't been resurfaced since 2003.
Since that time, they've begun to crack, causing uneven playing surfaces that could pose safety risks for players.
"It is a result of aging asphalt," said Steve Cothrel, Upper Arlington parks and forestry superintendent. "The asphalt surface was installed in 2003 and winters, in particular, have taken a toll.
"Another possible factor is subsurface drainage at Fancyburg," he said. "The whole ridge along the Scioto River on the west edge of the city has shallow soils over bedrock. In some places in Fancyburg, we have only a foot or two of soil."
Upper Arlington City Council voted unanimously Aug. 27 to hire Plain City, Ohio-based Total Tennis Inc. to renovate the parks.
The $40,493 contract includes a 10 percent construction contingency fee that could push the cost of the project to a maximum of $48,598.
Cothrel said the courts will be available during the crack-patching portion of the work, but will be closed for "a week or two" once color coating starts.
"It will not be staggered by design, but there could be times when some courts are open and some are not," he said.
The work is expected to be done by mid-September. However, because project materials are weather-sensitive, it could be late-September before all courts are open.
Upper Arlington Parks and Recreation Department Director Debbie McLaughlin said the city doesn't track "casual use" of the Fancyburg courts, but those who practice tennis and pickleball or play pick-up matches are the primary users.
She said the courts are used for private lessons by the city's tennis professional, as well as for recreation programs that serve up to 18 people at a time for adult tennis clinics. She added that up to 32 people participate in pickleball programs.
"The tennis and pickleball courts are frequently utilized and are in need of repairs," McLaughlin said. "There are significant cracks in the court surface ...The city strives to provide quality park amenities and this project will improve the playing surface and prevent further deterioration as we enter a winter season. Filling the cracks will prevent water from entering them and freezing which would cause expansion and widening as we experienced last winter."
Cothrel said Total Tennis has resurfaced and reconditioned several other asphalt tennis courts for Upper Arlington parks over the years, including those at Fancyburg and Thompson parks. The company also performs annual maintenance on the clay tennis courts at Northam Park.
"They reconditioned the Fancyburg courts in 2014 -- that's when we added the pickleball courts," Cothrel said. "That cost about $39,000. They also did Thompson in 2014 for about $36,000."
Pickleball players will have to wait for the project to conclude before they can take up playing again because the city doesn't currently have other accommodations for the game
However, Cothrel noted the city still will maintain tennis courts at nearby Sunny 95 and Thompson parks during the Fancyburg renovation.
"The court at Sunny 95 was just reconditioned this spring," he said. "Unfortunately, we do not have any other pickleball courts in UA at this time.
"And residents are welcome to purchase day passes to the Northam Park tennis courts if they would like to see what it's like playing on a softer surface."