Work to Courts 4-6

After much debate, hard work and saving up for seven years, we are embarked on a major upgrade of the hard courts (4, 5 and 6) which started on at the beginning of October and re-opened near the end of November.

These courts had always suffered from subsidence and had an uneven surface.

They were refreshed with new tarmac back in 2006 and they were also patched up to repair root damage a few years ago.

Every year the club ring-fences a portion of the income as a “sinking fund” to be only spent on renovating the playing surfaces, lights and fencing. This reached £65,000 last November, enough to start this work.

We have had three areas of subsidence excavated and replaced with proper foundation stone. Then the whole surface (after being pierced and the holes filled with fine gravel for drainage) was covered with a further 125 mm of foundation stone. 
The whole surface was then covered with a 32 mm tarmac finished surface.

The surface has temporary lines painted and the intention was that it would remain in this state until the spring of 2019, when the court would be closed for a further week and a final paint would be applied.

The result will be four red court markings on Court 4 and orange court markings on courts 5 and 6 – this is to support and encourage junior tennis and to allow us to host LTA junior events.

Unfortunately, a few weeks after the final asphalt surface was laid, and after the temporary lines were applied, parts of the court surface started to break up!
We were of course horrified and called in our consultant surveyor, contractor and their asphalt supplier.
After investigation and discussion it has been agreed that the binder in the asphalt has failed and the solution is to apply an extra 25-mm layer over all 3 courts to rectify the situation.
This will be done at no cost to the club.

It has been agreed with the contractor that the work will start on Tues 23-April and take just over a month.
It will only take 4-days to lay the new surface, but then (frustratingly) the courts will just sit there for 3-weeks while the asphalt “cures”.
After it has cured the courts will receive the final paint surface (dark green external and light green internal).
This final paint surface will have to dry for a few days before the courts can be played on.

The work is weather dependent – it must be warm & dry enough for the few days of asphalt laying and for the final paint application.
With this caveat the courts will be open on Sunday 26-May.

Again, having these courts out of action for a month will put quite a bit of pressure on the 3 artificial clay courts.
There is a kid’s holiday camp over the Easter holidays.
Our coaches make their living by being able to use the courts for a reasonable period.
We have team matches that have been committed to – most of which we will working to rearrange.
So please be accommodating and flexible in your use of the courts.
Committed court use will be updated weekly and as it mainly involves coaching can be found on this section of the website.

We are so sorry that this work is necessary.
It is totally out of our hands, but we are doing everything we can to rescue the situation at no extra cost to the club.

At the end of the day we will end up with better courts that we planned for (as they have an extra (free) layer of asphalt).
This is the final piece of major work needed to put all the playing surfaces at Elmwood on a stable footing for the indefinite future.

If you have any questions, ask a member of the committee and we will of course keep you updated as new information is available.