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GBRC board approves tennis court project changes
Tennis court project near completion, on hold for weather
Tennis Court Ramp
Pictured is a wheelchair-accessible concrete ramp to covered seating areas on the west Veterans Park court, installed as part of additional concrete work by Concrete Service LLC of Great Bend in connection with the ongoing Veterans Park tennis court improvement projects. Change orders for the additional work were approved by the GBRC board at its February meeting on Monday. The project is on hold this week due to cold weather. - photo by Daniel Kiewel

With the Veterans Park tennis court renovation project drawing closer to completion, the Great Bend Recreation Commission Board approved small changes to the project at its monthly meeting Monday afternoon.

Three change orders, totaling $1,760, all involve additional concrete work by Concrete Service LLC of Great Bend being done on both the east and west tennis courts, bringing the total cost of the concrete work on the project to $32,152.

The first change involves adding 5-foot by 29 1/2-foot new sidewalk slab on the east side of the east court. GBRC Executive Director Diann Henderson advised the board the old sidewalk was removed in the process of placing posts for a new gate in the course of the fencing project, and a new sidewalk needed to be put in its place. This sidewalk will run the entire length of the east side of the court.

The second, in connection with this, is the removal and replacement of two 2-foot by 5-foot sections of sidewalk on the south side of the east court so new gate posts could be installed at each of the entrances on the south side of the court. The total for this change was $150.

On the west court, the board approved changes totalling $740. One change was the addition of a ramp on the northwest side of the court, 9 feet long and 5 feet 10 inches wide, for improved accessibility to seating and viewing of the tennis courts. These changes also include the removal and replacement of 2-foot by 5-foot sections of concrete to install posts for entrances on the south side of this court. It also includes the filling in of a 2-foot by 1-foot section of concrete to complete concrete work in the court’s retaining wall.

Where the project stands

Henderson said much of the fencing has been installed on the east courts but gates still need to be installed on that court. Fencing has not yet been installed on the west courts.

All of the concrete work has been completed on both courts but GBRC staff still need to do a walk-through for final approval on the concrete work.

The Rec is also waiting on eight new sets of bleacher seating and four cantilever shade structures approved for purchase at the board’s January meeting. Henderson said the shade structures are expected to arrive within the next four weeks and the bleachers are expected within the next two to four weeks. Installation of these items will be weather contingent.

A cold snap this week has put work on the project on hold but the goal remains to have the work completed on both courts in time for the spring tennis season.

Meeting at a glance

Here’s a quick look at Monday’s Great Bend Recreation Commission Board of Directors meeting:

• The GBRC board approved an annual resolution waiving the Generally Accepted Accounting Procedures (GAAP) requirement to prepare a Management, Discussion and Analysis statement for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021.

• Assistant Director Chris Umphres advised the board there were no changes to the rec softball and baseball rules for the spring 2021 season.

• The board approved bills payable for the month of December, which included payments on tennis court improvement concrete work, as well as payment for shade structures seating tables approved as part of the project at the January 2021 meeting. Executive Director Diann Henderson advised the remainder of the payments on the project would be paid out following project completion.

• Enrichment and Aquatics Director Megan Hammeke reported on Special Needs and Senior Programs. The special needs Valentine’s Dance was canceled this year due to COVID, and as in past years, no programs were held in January for spring planning purposes.

• Umphres updated the board on the end of the youth basketball season, as well as the beginning of the youth soccer season, which is set to begin the week of Feb. 22. Both were seasons were delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Umphres said youth basketball and pickleball tournaments hosted by GBRC were held in January and February. A recent youth basketball tournament brought 38 teams to Great Bend. GBRC is planning on hosting another pickleball tournament at the Panther Activity Center at Great Bend High School on March 6.

•- Enrichment/Activity Center Director Garet Fitzpatrick updated the board on upcoming lunch hour Stop-N-Learn sessions. These in-person events will also be streamed on the Rec’s Facebook page as a live virtual event.

• Fitzpatrick announced the Rec’s Longest Tail Feather contest winners, a tie between Craig Gowdy and Jonas Kern. Each received a $50 Great Bend Chamber of Commerce Gift Certificate.

• Henderson said three Rec staff attended the Kansas Recreation and Park State Conference virtually on Feb. 3-4. Education sessions were provided and videos will be available to Rec staff for further review this week and next week.