Work resumes on new tennis center

Early December opening within reach

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Construction crews were back on the job Monday at the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs after taking a hiatus to erect a pair of structures needed for hurricane recovery efforts in Louisiana.

"We are still hoping for an opening date in early December, but stay tuned, there's a lot going on, and timing is critical," said Chris Wilson of the city of Steamboat Springs.

The $3 million project replaces the old inflatable bubble that formerly enclosed four clay courts adjacent to Ski Town Park. When complete, the new structure will enclose six hard-surface courts.

Construction crews were about halfway through the process of installing the fabric covering on the rigid support structures over the new tennis courts when they were called to Baton Rouge, La., Wilson said. They completed two buildings using similar construction there and are proceeding at full strength on Steamboat's Tennis Center. They will need two days to finish covering the ribs of the structure and three additional days to frame and enclose the ends of the building, Wilson said.

After that, they'---ll need a week to install vents and doors around the building. Two more days will be needed to finish details on the project.

At the same time fabric panels were being put in place Monday, electricians were on the job installing lighting, Wilson said. Blowers for the heating system are scheduled for installation later this week.

Contractors also will pour a concrete pad around the new facility this fall to facilitate snow removal.

The cost of the project has grown nearly 50 percent from the estimate of $2.1 million. The local tennis community set a fundraising goal of $360,000 to defray the cost of construction.

Tennis Center director Jim Swig--gart has told the City Council the new facility will reduce the annual city subsidy for the center's operating budget through increased revenues (two additional courts) and a reduction in heating costs.

-- To reach Tom Ross call 871-4205 or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com

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