Tennis (in November!) anyone? Bubble will court year-round play
The Glenwood Springs Community Center tennis bubble is getting closer to its inflation date. “I’d like to jump right on it,” Parks and Recreation Department director Dan Rodgerson said. “I’d like to be playing in November.” To further those efforts, Rodgerson appeared before the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission Tuesday to seek a minor development permit for four tennis courts. Two of those courts will be built to fit within the confines of the bubble, allowing year-round tennis play. The big question facing the planning board was whether to allow a height variance for the 40-foot-tall white bubble, which measures approximately 120 feet by 120 feet.The board voted 5-1 to approve the minor development permit and the height variance. Its decision is final, not subject to City Council review.Rodgerson said the architectural drawings for four courts were completed and submitted to the planning board earlier in August. The parks department will seek bids for construction of the courts in September and construction should begin later in the fall.”The whole project has to be fast-tracked, especially if we’re going to use asphalt,” Rodgerson said.After discovering that the bubble was being dismantled at its former home, the Snowmass Club in Snowmass Village, Rodgerson approached City Council about the possibility of purchasing it. In April, City Council approved the idea, along with the $8,000 in funding.Meanwhile, local tennis enthusiasts Ron and Kayli Offerle handed workers at the Community Center an $8,000 check to reimburse the city for the bubble.In May, the City Council directed Rodgerson to look at placing the bubble behind the Community Center so it doesn’t block the attractive, and expensive, front facade of the building. Earthwork and construction costs for four tennis courts and related bubble equipment is expected to total $275,000. Part of that cost is the purchase of heaters and blowers. Without the blowers, and their gas-powered backup generators, the bubble would look more like a tennis bedsheet. Rodgerson said while the bubble fee structure hasn’t been established yet, Rodgerson said players will be charged a separate fee. “It’s definitely a pay-to-play,” he said. “The tennis bubble comes with a considerable cost, but it also brings considerable benefits.” In other Parks Department-related news, Sayre Park playground equipment will be replaced during the next few weeks. At Axtell Park, located at 11th and Cooper behind the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, old playground equipment will soon be replaced by new, safer equipment.Also, the new Axtell playground will be surrounded by a wheelchair-accessible walkway.At Sopris Park, located adjacent to Sopris Elementary School, an estimated $600,000 will be spent to develop two baseball fields complete with scoreboards, a trail around the fields, two sand volleyball courts, benches, restrooms, bleachers and water fountains. Bids for the Sopris Park project are due on Sept. 9.
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