Debate continues over the renovation of Manistee’s Sands Park tennis courts

MANISTEE — The debate will continue over what to do with the tennis courts at Sands Park in Manistee.

No decision was made regarding the restoration or removal of the Sands Park tennis courts during the Sands Park Board of Control meeting on Monday.

One thing was relatively clear though, it would be more cost-effective to remove tennis courts than to renovate them.

Jeff Mikula, director of Manistee’s public works department, said it would cost about $9,000 to remove them. It would cost four to five times as much to replace or restore them.

“So probably the last 14 years I’ve personally been working to try and update these tennis courts at Sands Park – in my former capacity as a city record engineer and also since I was hired by the city,” Mikula said. “During that time, there have been three different engineering companies that have looked at tennis courts, including Wade Trim, Abonmarche, and more recently, the Spicer Group, and all of them were of the opinion that the surface cost of tennis courts is at range of $40,000 to $50,000 and that the lifespan of this repair would be very, very short due to the basic conditions.”

However, other people at the meeting, including city manager William Gambil and Sands Park control board member Jermaine Sullivan, said they still want to look into repurposing the tennis courts or finding a lower price than the previous companies mentioned by Mikula.

Gambill said that if it is still possible to save the courts, he would like to seek out other companies that might have a different opinion. He said that when he was city manager of St. Clair Shores, he had worked with a few companies to renovate tennis courts and was able to get a more reasonable estimate.

“At the previous place I worked at, we redid a few blocks and it was kind of like those cracks. It was like (a) tape and epoxy (work). I’m pretty sure it wasn’t that expensive and I think it might be worth a look at that. “, said Gambil.

Another suggestion would be to turn tennis courts into pickleball courts, which have become very popular in Manistee County and across the country.

Another meeting at the Sands Park tennis courts will be held towards the end of the year – after Gambill has done some research on bidding to resurface the courts.

Leave a Comment