The Butler Park tennis courts are new and improved in anticipation of the 2011 Seniors Games. Lapsed tennis players such as Robert Baker

The Butler Park tennis courts are new and improved in anticipation of the 2011 Seniors Games. Lapsed tennis players such as Robert Baker

Slick new surface for court

An errant bounce caused by cracks in the asphalt of the Butler Park tennis court is no longer a concern for players as the facility received a much-needed facelift last week.

An errant bounce caused by cracks in the asphalt of the Butler Park tennis court is no longer a concern for players as the facility received a much-needed facelift last week.

Another legacy of the B.C. Seniors Games is improvements to various facilities and as Trail is host to the 55+ and 60+ tennis events, the three courts required a resurfacing.

“It needed something that was going to last a bit longer,” said Robert Baker, deputy director of Trail Parks and Rec. “So what we used is a system called Armour-crack repair.”

Similar to a fibre-glass system, the multi-layer process lays down sheets of “bandaids” (of armour-crack repair) over the cracks; the new layers are able to move as the ground expands and contracts thus maintaining its integrity. The whole court is then covered with a bonding agent before it is painted.

“We have a serious problem with the actual compaction of the ground underneath, which is a much larger project, but because we wanted to have the best possible court surface in play for the B.C. Seniors Games, this was the best route to go at this point.”

The upgrade should last several years and with its fresh coat of U.S. Open blue paint, it looks brand new.

“It’s the same (colour) as the Castlegar courts so we have some consistency for the Games and we have consistency in the city, and it was also good to get some community involvement and get feedback from people who actually use the courts and what colour they think is best.”

In the future, pickleball players may use the courts as well. Temporarily, Trail Parks and Recreation taped in pickleball court lines and are seeking feedback whether to incorporate the racquet sport into the facility once the Games are over.

The resurfacing cost roughly $21,000 plus materials for the crack repair. So far local racquet players are happy with the improvements, says Baker.

“It’s been enjoyed by the pickleball users, it’s been enjoyed by tennis groups. I saw a couple ladies playing the other day and they said they loved it.”

While Trail hosts the 55+ and 60+ age groups, the 65+, 70+, 75+ and 80+ events will play at the Castlegar Community Complex Aug. 17-20.