Full replacement of damaged fence at CHS tennis courts may be possible

Jess Bengtson
Crookston Times

    After an amendment to the original motion at this week’s Crookston School Board meeting, the district will research whether they can do a full replacement of the fence at the high school tennis courts that were damaged by recent high winds without having to sacrifice an increased insurance premium should they open a claim.       

     Superintendent Jeremy Olson provided the board with fence repair bids and, after it was brought up that one of the bids came in at double the cost, they found out that particular bid was for a full replacement.

    The scope of the work needed includes removing the center fence running north and south, installing a drive-in gate and walk gates on the south end of the courts, strengthening the north and west fence to withstand wind plus stopping the fence from lifting up during winter frost events.

    With the three bids submitted, one company did not address all the repairs needed, one had budget pricing because of the “volatile” supply market and one was for a full replacement of the tennis court fences. It was initially recommended to go with the $39,925 bid for the repairs before the board discovered they may be able to ask for a full replacement.

    School Board member Mike Theis asked, with a $10,000 insurance deductible, why would they put up the old fence instead of a new one if insurance would cover it. Olson explained that it might change their deductible down the road and he didn’t pursue other bids for a full replacement, only for repairs. Theis thought if it won’t affect the district negatively in the future they should try for a full replacement. The board agreed to amend the original motion set forward by board member Tim Dufault to pursue bids for a full replacement.


    Next, talking about the tennis court resurfacing needs, Olson explained that the courts have “a lot” of cracks and he doesn’t want to replace the entire thing so he’s recommending a resurface with crack repair and armor crack repair by the same company that is taking care of the City of Crookston’s tennis courts at Ray Ecklund Complex. The bid for the crack repair came in at $81,110 from JB Surfaces which was later approved by the board. Olson added that the money for both projects will come from the longterm facility maintenance fund and not the general fund.

    Activities Director Greg Garmen asked the board how long the tennis court fence repair would take and was told they should be done by June. Garmen said, if the project is delayed, he doesn’t want the court resurface done before the fence as he has different plans for the fence.

    “We’ve looked at Alexandria and will do something similiar where we take out the fences down the middle row and leave it wide open,” he explained. “They’ll have more room to play and there will be bleachers in the middle.”

    “Then we’ll have fences across the gap to walk in and keep balls in,” Garmen added.

    When asked about keeping the same colors for the tennis courts, Garmen said he’d like to go with a navy blue and gray to, in a way, represent the Pirates’ colors as they didn’t have gold available.