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AASD tennis courts crack

Surface filler repaired; asphalt foundation appears to be solid

(Editor’s note: This story was edited at 7 a.m. this morning to add time elements on the project.)

A bit of trouble was served up recently at the new Mansion Park tennis courts as cracks appeared on the surface only months after the courts were replaced.

The crack was nothing to sneeze at considering it cost district taxpayers $670,000 to create the entire five-court venue including seating, drainage and handicap accessibility.

The district’s warranty covered the cost of repairs, Altoona Area Superintendent Charles Prijatelj said Thursday. The main contractor W.G. Land Co. of Champion has fixed the crack with no issue, he said.

On Thursday morning, the Brenneman Co., a subcontractor for the surface, was working at the courts.

“It’s a freak thing for this to happen,” worker John Tshudy said. He said it was only an area of surface filler that cracked. Once the thin layer of surface filler was ground down, the asphalt foundation underneath appeared solid.

Prijatelj said the court has been closed for a week and will reopen next week for a tournament.

He said the issue arose from the company adding a layer of filler to ensure the court was level, but that layer was a little too thick and cracked.

Adding filler is a typical part of the process to ensure a court is as level as can be, he said.

“It was checked every step of the way,” Prijatelj said.

The asphalt, which is at the foundation of the court, is fine, Prijatelj said.

“When the company makes a tennis court, they make sure it is level by throwing water on it and watching where it pools up. Three-eighths of an inch worth of filler was layered on an area of the asphalt and painted. The crack developed on that filler. They grinded out the filler and resurfaced it,” he said.

Prijatelj said it was obviously only the surface filler that cracked because there’s a difference in color and makeup of the filler versus asphalt.

The issue was brought up last week at a school board physical plant committee meeting, said board member Ron Johnston.

“The high school tennis season is going to start in four weeks,” he said Thursday. “The tennis courts have been repaired. Cracking occurred in two areas where leveling compound had been put in place to smooth out the surface. As of now, the courts are closed to fully cure and will reopen on Monday,” he said.

He stressed that the district’s Physical Plant Director Doug Endler informed the board that the base of the courts is sound.

The former courts were torn out last summer and were completed this spring.

“We questioned whether the base is good enough,” Johnston said. “Doug Endler said it had a good base on it. So we will just keep an eye on it and make sure it is taken care of, for that amount of money.”

Mirror Staff Writer Russ O’Reilly is at 946-7435.

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