Tennis courts (copy)

Two of the Baraboo School District's six tennis courts are in disrepair, and the remaining four are deteriorating as well. District leaders agreed on Monday to hire MSA Professional Services to analyze and determine its best course of action to construct new courts. 

News Republic file photo

The Baraboo School District will hire MSA Professional Services to evaluate its best course of action in constructing new tennis courts.

The Baraboo School Board approved the measure during its Monday meeting. Under the agreement, MSA will provide analysis of the district’s six existing tennis courts and their current location, along with cost estimates for three options to construct new ones.

Two of the high school’s six tennis courts, which are located between Baraboo High School and Jack Young Middle School, are in disrepair, and the remaining four are deteriorating due to what district leaders presume to be poor soil conditions at the site.

As a cost-saving measure, board members discussed a possible partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County in July to construct and share additional tennis courts on the nearby college campus. The partnership is one of three possible plans that will be analyzed by MSA.

The site analysis and cost estimates will cost $2,500, with an additional $2,500 set aside for soil evaluation at the current tennis court site. MSA program manager Chuck Bongard told the board’s Buildings Grounds and Transportation Committee that testing the soil will determine if runoff led to poor soil conditions and subsequent deterioration of the court pavement. He added that the analysis will likely cost less than $2,500.

“I put $2,500 in there, but I think we could keep that cost down by utilizing the local excavator to dig a few holes, and I would certainly review any information relative to work that has already been done in that area relative to the soil out there,” he said.

In addition to the partnership with UW-Baraboo, MSA will provide cost estimates for two other options for constructing new courts at the current site.

The first would be to refurbish the existing six tennis courts. The process would involve removing a portion of the existing fences, nets and pavement. It also would entail possible surface drainage improvements, repaving, color coating, striping, along with purchasing new nets.

The second option is to refurbish the existing courts and construct an additional two, creating a total of eight. Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association rules require a site to have at least seven courts in order to host tournaments.

Board member Mo Reily questioned plans to build additional courts at the current site due to talk of poor soil conditions. Board member Mike Kohlman said the soil evaluation should alleviate concerns.

“Have the man who knows what he’s doing look at the soil and see if there really is a good reason it couldn’t be reconstructed on the site where it is … we’ll have all the facts after this study,” Kohlman said.

The district’s final option for new tennis courts would be to construct four new courts at the University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County, expanding its courts from four to eight. The plan also involves construction of additional lighting and removing the district’s existing courts.

In other business, the board:

  • Approved the 2017-2018 master agreement between the school board and the Baraboo Education Association
  • Approved the city of Baraboo’s request for safety crossing lights
  • Approved Baraboo FFA trip to Indianapolis for the annual national FFA Convention
  • Approved additional 2017-2018 teacher overload and prep compensation

Follow Jake Prinsen on Twitter @prinsenjake

Baraboo News Republic Reporter