Parks board ‘kicks off’ tennis court design phase

Olson hopes the design will be completed and reviewed by the U.S. Tennis Association in time to apply for a MnDOT LAWCON grant in the spring of 2021.

CopySummerScene19tennis courts.jpg
Reconstruction of the four city-owned tennis courts at Depot Park is entering the design phase. (Enterprise file photo)
Kevin Cederstrom/Enterprise

City engineer Jon Olson gave the Park Rapids Parks and Beautification Board an engineering “kickoff” report on Monday about the Depot Park tennis court reconstruction project.

With only two members present on the Zoom conference call, the parks board did not have a quorum and was unable to take official action. However, several city staff members and Kathy Peterson with the Park Rapids Tennis Association contributed to the discussion.

Olson, who represents Apex Engineering Group, said they plan to bring on Robert G. Campbell and Associates as subconsultants, due to their experience with post tensioned concrete tennis courts.

In addition, he proposed working with a project team including Peterson, city planner Andrew Mack, public works superintendent Scott Burlingame, and an additional representative from the parks board and/or the tennis association. Barb Thomason, a member of both bodies, agreed to serve on the team.

Regarding the design phase of the project, to which funds have already been committed up to the point of putting it out to bid, Olson said he hopes to have the design and specifications done by Feb. 19, 2021 and submitted for review by the U.S. Tennis Association in time for the PRTA to submit a Land and Water Conservation grant request to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in March.


OIson said the scope of the construction phase will include removal of the existing city-owned courts at Depot Park, correcting the subgrade layer with the intent to make it frost proof, site grading, reconstruction of the tennis courts, fencing, net replacement, sidewalk improvements, and site restoration including possible tree removal.

He asked participants to think about what kind of fencing they want, the colors for the athletic surface and striping, and whether they want lighting added for nighttime use.

Thomason noted that the courts’ existing nets are fairly new and in good condition, and suggested re-installing them when the work is done.

Peterson said the PRTA needs to know how much the project cost will remain, after city share and any grants monies are committed, before it begins fundraising for the project.

Meeting participants also discussed:

  • An update of the comprehensive parks and trails plan, which needs to be approved by the board before the city’s planning commission can recommend its adoption to the city council.

  • A survey of Kaywood neighborhood residents’ wishes regarding how to develop Kaywood Park. Mack said the results are still being tabulated.

  • Repairs to a musical sculpture at Pioneer Park. Mack said Burlingame consulted with Darchuk’s Fabrication, Inc. and was told they could fix it. Also discussed was replacing the hard rubber mallets on the instruments with wooden spoons and touching up their chipped paint.

  • A review of park improvement priorities for the city’s 2021-25 capital improvement plan, including replacement of the Deane Park pavilion. Board chair Sue Cutler asked Mack to help fill in some blanks regarding estimated costs of the projects. The board was advised to make a recommendation at their next meeting to discuss in a special workshop with the city council.

  • The purchase of the Ant-Venture sculpture to display in Deane Park. Mack said Liz Smith has agreed to continue to work on this project, even after resigning from the parks board. He said the Rotary Club has donated $1,500 toward the purchase of the interactive artwork, and results of other grant requests are pending.

  • Possible nominees to serve on the trestle bridge park planning steering committee.

  • Cutler’s and Thomason’s willingness to continue serving as parks board chair and secretary, respectively. Cutler observed a need for more active board members after two recent resignations from the board.

The next parks board meeting is scheduled for noon Monday, Jan. 11, 2021 at city hall.

Robin Fish is a staff reporter at the Park Rapids Enterprise. Contact him at or 218-252-3053.
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