The seven tennis courts in downtown Beaufort — under reconstruction for nearly four months — are expected to reopen in about a month, according to Beaufort County.
The $630,800 project, said Eric Clausen, Beaufort County’s engineering manager, “is a little behind schedule” due to July rain, but isn’t too far off pace.
“We encountered weather delays,” Clausen said. “Of course that happened when we were trying to do the ranking.”
The original completion date was August 22, but Clausen expects the courts to be finished now in the first week of September or thereabouts, weather permitting, and reopen to the public the following week.
With seven courts, the Beaufort Tennis Complex, located in the heart of the city at 1105 Bladen Street near Boundary Street, is the largest public tennis complex north of the Broad River.
Old courts were cracked and fences knocked down and new lights were needed. They are replaced.
The redesign includes the removal of the existing hard courts and the installation of completely new surfaces, also hard courts, as well as nets/equipment and fences/gates, new lights and posts and rain gardens and controls of runoff to solve stormwater problems that have plagued the courts in recent years. .
Grading and compaction of the area and underground works, such as irrigation and conduit for lights, are complete, Clausen said Wednesday.
Asphalt should come in next week, Clausen said. The following week, fences will be installed around the courts. Three weeks after the asphalt cure, the courts will be painted.
A crane truck will lift the poles and lights into place.
“We understand this is a highly anticipated project,” Clausen said, “and again, we appreciate Citizen’s patience as we seek to wrap this one up.”
The contractor is Talbot Tennis, based in Marietta, Georgia.
Construction began on April 22.
Construction was originally scheduled to begin in the fall of 2021. However, several factors have caused a delay, including attempts to approve additional parking, the availability of building materials and labor, and ensuring that the city, the South Carolina Department of Transportation, and the county had no problem with the final plans.
No additional parking will be added.
The Beaufort County Parks and Recreation Department is creating a master plan that includes the development of additional tennis and pickleball courts. Last year the county converted three tennis courts at Shell Point near Port Royal, Southside Park in Beaufort and Bluffton Recreation Center into six pickleball courts. No pickleball court is provided at the Beaufort Town Center Tennis Complex.
The Bluffton Planning Commission will also consider a plan to build additional pickleball courts there. The initial plan was filed this month so the developer could address concerns about additional parking and traffic.
This story was originally published August 7, 2022 5:00 a.m.