Host to a Junior Futures Tournament, the Myers Junior Open Tournament, and an annual adult professional tournament, the Town of Elkin a very active tennis community. The Town’s eight-court tennis complex is also home to the Elkin High School men’s and women’s tennis teams and accommodates numerous community-organized tournaments, informal events, and local groups. Constructed in 1980 as the second phase of development of Elkin Municipal Park, the complex is a focal point of local recreation and is lovingly maintained.
But even with yearly maintenance the courts were gradually becoming unusable due to cracking in the playing surfaces. Faced with safety concerns and the rising cost of repairs, the Town decided to explore fully rebuilding the courts. Surry County, Elkin City Schools, the United States Tennis Association, and a community group that formed under the name Elkin Friends of Tennis lent their support to the project; the latter two organizations raised $100,000 in private donations and grant money for the renovation.
WithersRavenel’s first step in designing the reconstruction of the complex was determining if any factors other than regular use were contributing to the deterioration of the courts. A subsurface exploration revealed that the area beneath the courts had become saturated over time due mostly to inadequate drainage control. The Town’s initial plan to address the water intrusion issue was to install drains under each of the eight courts. WithersRavenel evaluated this approach, but suggested that a more cost-effective and permanent solution would be a combination of an improved drainage management system and a stabilized sub-base using a Full-Depth Reclamation (FDR) process. The drainage management system would keep the subgrade soils dry in the future, and the FDR would create a firm foundation for the new playing surface without having to dry the subgrade prior to construction.
In addition to being a good fit for the site conditions, the FDR saved time and about $52,000 during construction, because it eliminated the need to remove existing wet soils, introduce new material, and construct an under-drain system; instead, the surface material from the existing courts and sub-base was pulverized and mixed with Portland cement and dense-graded aggregate to create the foundation.
The final design of the complex included new nets and net posts, vinyl-coated fencing, and improved handicapped access.