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Mon, Feb. 17

Turkey Trot Tourney; PHS court talks

Some of us don't need to eat very much turkey this Thanksgiving, but we most likely will anyway. It's tradition, just like our annual "Turkey Trot A-B-C Doubles" that will be this coming Saturday at the Roughrider Tennis Center (Yavapai College) from noon to 4:00 p.m.

By playing in this event you just might get enough exercise in to eat that nice pumpkin pie for desert on Thanksgiving Day.

Grab a doubles partner of either sex, as players are divided out by ability, not gender. Play will consist of a round robin and end with a single elimination with all finalists receiving prizes.

Food and snacks will be provided as well, and all for only $15 per person.

Call 445-1331 to sign up.

"Discussion on PHS Tennis Courts"

It was really nice to see the new Skate Park open up this past Saturday. It was a packed event, and will be a nice addition to our town for the youth. A cool place for them to trick skate and bike.

The location is good and it's near other sporting areas at The Armory just off of Gurley Street, within site of our main Parks and Recreation office.

We have another really neat area for kids and adults to play sports that was really cool about 30-plus years ago that now needs our help. The six tennis courts on Ruth Street that belong to Prescott High School and are co-managed by the City of Prescott.

The location is central to Prescott High School, the YMCA, many elementary schools and churches, and large neighborhoods with lots of children.

Unfortunately, the court surface is falling apart and dangerous to the point that it looks as if the boys and girls tennis matches this next spring may have to all be played at away sites with no home matches. The teams may also have to be bused to other sites just to practice.

It's not just a bandage fix this time around. It looks like it will take some major surgery, which means a fairly large capital expenditure.

The question is, who will ante up for what it will take to bring this facility up to being what it should be - safe, fun and used?

Hopefully the two main entities, Prescott Unified School District and the City of Prescott will. But could other funding possibly come from other sources? Maybe the YMCA, the United States Tennis Association (grant), other local foundations, the Yavapai Indian Tribe, and public local contributors?

Two bids to rebuild the court surface have been submitted by the U.S. Tennis Court Construction Company at this site for between $152,000 and $184,000, depending on what process the owners would like to take.

This would tear out the existing asphalt and fix the sub-base, pave with asphalt, replace the net posts and color and stripe the six courts.

A bid to do this with post-tensioned concrete had not been received by my deadline, and it would be more expensive. But for our weather and ground surface, it may be the less expensive way to go over the long haul.

The tennis courts at Yavapai Hills and the Haisley subdivision have almost perfect courts done in this manor that are 10 years old or more with no more than hair-line cracks.

A meeting will take place at the Prescott Unified School District office this Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. to begin discussions on what can be done and who can commit to what. Hopefully it's the beginning of progress toward getting this tennis facility back in good shape.

It's really nice to see our city grow and obtain new facilities like the new Skate Park. But not at the expense of not taking care of the obligations of our older athletic facilities.

As citizens who elect our school board members, city and county representatives, I believe it is part of their job to budget these facility needs and have a plan toward keeping them in very good condition.

Otherwise, don't build them to begin with.

(Chris Howard is a local USPTA Tennis Professional with over 30 years in the racquet and fitness industry. He can be reached at 445-1331 or choward4541@peoplepc.com)

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