New Shores tennis courts to be built next spring

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published October 10, 2017

GROSSE POINTE SHORES — Grosse Pointe Shores residents are finally going to be getting new tennis courts at Osius Park.

After much debate about what projects should be tackled at the residents-only park, city leaders decided to move forward on the new courts as a stand-alone project, with plans still up in the air as to a possible new park entrance with a guarded gatehouse, similar to what Grosse Pointe Park, Farms and Woods have for their residents-only waterfront parks.

During a meeting Sept. 19, the Shores City Council voted unanimously in favor of a low bid from Novi-based Nagle Paving Company to build new tennis courts in the park at a cost of $246,882. The council approved a less expensive option, for a more standard three-layer court surface, instead of the more professional five-layer court surface, which would have cost the city almost $70,000 more. City Manager Mark Wollenweber said there is also “less maintenance in the long term” with the three-layered courts.

Some residents also urged city officials to go with the three-layered court surface instead of five layers.

“I am in favor of the three layers and not the five layers, and I would hope the council would make a sound financial decision,” resident George Nichols said.

The courts will be rebuilt at their current location.

The council had bid out the project earlier this year, but that bid also included new security improvements such as the gatehouse.

“This is the second set of bids … and they’re much more in line” with what officials expected, Wollenweber said.

He said they hope to start work around April 1, 2018. Completion depends on weather, but they’d like to see the new courts done by June 15 or earlier, if possible. Wollenweber said they don’t want to remove the existing court asphalt now because Nagle representatives and the city’s engineers warned that a soggy winter could saturate the ground underneath the courts, which would result in the need for more time in the spring for the soil to dry out.

Wollenweber said one of the advantages of the low bidder is that all of the surface materials will be new, not recycled, as was the case for some of the more expensive bidders.

“We wanted virgin materials,” he told the council.

New electrical isn’t part of the bid, but Wollenweber said the city would be converting the old court lights into more energy-efficient LEDs. He said administrators would come back to the council later with a bid for electrical improvements.

In addition, the bid “doesn’t include netting,” City Councilman Bruce Bisballe said. Wollenweber said windscreens aren’t part of the bid, either, but “all of the fencing and posts are included.” Bisballe said he believes the city will need to pay more for black vinyl-coated fencing instead of standard galvanized fencing, but that amount wasn’t known at press time.

Although officials aren’t going with some recommendations made by a special Parks Blue Ribbon Committee, the committee’s chair, City Councilwoman Tina Ellis, commended the resident volunteers for their time, hard work and input.

“This has been a long time coming,” said Mayor Ted Kedzierski, himself a tennis player. “The community is really looking forward to it.”