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GBRC approves bids for tennis court improvements
Tennis courts
The north side of the west tennis court at Veterans Park is picture. Along with replacement of a ten foot fence, this area will also have a concrete extension installed for additional seating for teams and spectators as part of the fencing and concrete extension projects on both courts.

The Great Bend Recreation Commission took another step forward on the Veterans Park tennis court improvements Monday, with the GBRC Board approving bids from local contractors to replace damaged fencing and add concrete extensions on both courts.

GBRC Executive Director Diann Henderson said the entire cost for the fencing and concrete extension projects are will be covered by GBRC, and will be paid for entirely from capital outlay funds which had already been budgeted for the project.

On the fencing project, the board approved a bid from Eldridge Fencing of Great Bend for $61,784, which was the lower of two bids received for the project. The other bid received was from Little Giant Fencing, which came in with a bid of $68,708.08. The bid includes the costs for both the east and west courts.

The project includes replacing all existing fencing, including the chain link, mesh covers, posts and gates on both the east and west tennis courts with black chain link fence with black mesh fabric around the perimeter.

On the west court, this involves replacing all existing 10-foot perimeter fencing, replacing the four foot fencing on the west side with ten foot fencing, replacing the existing gates, and adding an interior 8-foot fence on the north side of the court to accommodate the addition of a concrete seating area for both teams and spectators, which will be added as part of the concrete extension project.

On the east court, this will involve replacing the 10-foot fencing and gates on the north and south sides of the court; adding 10-foot exterior fencing outside the existing seating areas on the east and west sides of the court, and replacing adding four foot interior fencing on the west side, and replacing the 4-foot fencing inside the existing seating areas on the east side. 

Aside from cost, another reason the board opted to approve the Eldridge Fencing bid is because it offered an additional powder-coating option on posts as opposed to vinyl-coated posts. Assistant Superintendent Chris Umphres told the board that after testing the two materials, he felt the powder-coated material would hold up better and be more resistant to scratching and peeling. Henderson advised the board the powder-coated posts come with a 15-year warranty. This option, Henderson said, also exceeded minimum specifications the board laid out as part of the bidding process.

The bid the board approved for the concrete work was from local contractor Concrete Service for $30,392, which was the low bid. The other bid received was from Ramirez Construction LLC, of Great Bend, who provided a bid of $43,200.40.

The cost includes adding concrete extensions around the perimeter of both courts for both players and spectators, and filling in gaps in the current walkways. It also includes the addition of an additional 10-foot wide concrete extension for the new seating area on the north side of the west court. Henderson said the extensions would also improve accessibility for individuals with disabilities on the east court.

Both approved bids also include authorization for Henderson to approve change orders of up to 5% of the contract cost, should needed changes arise during the course of the project.

The fencing and concrete projects are set to be completed concurrently. Work on both projects is set to begin following the completion of installation of new lighting at the courts. The goal date for completion of the lighting project, funded by the city of Great Bend, is Nov. 1, which is currently on schedule. Henderson said the new light poles have been installed but the wiring has not yet completed. 

The Rec Commission’s goal remains to have the fencing and concrete improvement projects completed in time for local high school tennis teams to begin spring practices Feb. 1, 2021. The project had originally not been scheduled for bidding until spring 2021, but the timeline was accelerated due to extensive damage sustained during a severe thunderstorm in June.