Excerpted via an email from Jojo Donetti, who has been tirelessly working with everyone she can to make sure Benicia’s tennis courts are safe and improved!

I had a good discussion with Alfredo, the district’s maintenance director, this morning about the courts.

When the rains hit in mid-May, both Alfredo and the contractor originally hired to repair the courts realized the courts were in worse shape and required more work than the contractor originally thought.

Over the past 4 weeks, the contractor has been unresponsive to Alfredo, as he tried to re-arrange the work schedules for BHS and BMS, so much so that Alfredo put the work on hold with him, this move got the contractor to respond, but too late.

Alfredo engaged a 3rd party and an engineer from the architecture firm to take another look at the courts to figure out the right solution. They took core samples recently at BHS, which shows 6 inches of asphalt and another 6 inches of base. The engineer recommended to dig out the hump on Court 5, re-compact it and fill it in. The engineer also recommended another 2-2.5 inches of asphalt overlay across all 6 courts, and that a tennis court contractor do the surfacing and painting/lines.

Throughout this, Alfredo had the finance guy and superintendent out to the courts to see the issues in person, and to understand all that should be done to do it right. They realized this is going to be more costly, more than the $150K the original contractor bid.

They have put together an RFP for a new bid based on the engineer’s recommendations and it is to be released today. They are trying to fast-track all of this and while following district rules. The engineer said with his recommendations and regular maintenance, the courts should last for 15 years, much better than what the first contractor offered.

The schedule for all this is dependent upon bids received and the vendors timing to get it done before the weather changes in the Fall. The district is leaving it fully open, not putting any limitations/restrictions on them. but the district still has to fund it and they don’t know right now how much that will be. Ideally, BHS could be done by end of Sept, assuming they can start in August. BMS repairs would happen after BHS.

So, the good news is they are moving in the right direction to get a real fix to the courts without fully gutting them…and they are terminating the contract with the original vendor.

Keep checking back for more updates as things are likely to keep changing, but we are doing our very best to stay on top of it and make sure these courts become safer for everyone to enjoy!

Court repair update