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    Wednesday, February 28, 2024

    Stonington disc golf and tennis court updates under way

    Stonington— The Recreation Commission met this week and received updates on the town’s disc golf project and the George Crouse tennis court renovation.

    Recreation Administrator, Richard Ward said the tennis court renovation project, which began in August, is progressing.

    Concrete forms are being prepared and concrete will be poured beginning Tuesday.

    “The technique we’re using is post-tension concrete,” said Ward.

    Ward explained that current best practice in building tennis courts is to use the method in which steel rebar is placed within the concrete pad to minimize the spread of cracks.

    “You might have a crack that starts in one spot ― it’s not going to progress across the court like the asphalt,” he said, adding that the method carries a 30-year warranty, as opposed to older traditional asphalt courts that are warrantied for less than ten.

    The $1.1 million project to rebuild six tennis courts and add two pickleball courts, as well as lighting and netting, was funded through the town’s capital improvement budget and American Rescue Plan money.

    The commission also discussed the 9-hole disc golf course in Spellman Park. An open house for sponsors and stakeholders is planned for October 20, with a time still to be determined.

    Construction of the course began last year, and the course has been in use since the first hole was complete.

    Disc golf, also referred to as frisbee golf, is a sport that follows similar rules to traditional golf, but instead of a club and ball, players throw a molded plastic disc with the goal of getting it into a basket.

    The project, initially envisioned prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, was budgeted at $20,000, and was funded through donations and sponsorships.

    Ward said, “We raised $19,517, and we have another company that’s on the hook for another $800, so we’ve exceeded our fund-raising goal of $20,000.”

    The project has cost $9,500 so far, and Ward said that most of that cost was for the baskets, though there were other expenses, including labor, to implement the Par 3 course plan.

    The decision to create a 9-hole course instead of an 18-hole course was to measure community interest, but Ward said there is room for expansion in the future.

    “We took full advantage of the landscape out there. It’s a nice design; there’s a lot of elevated tee boxes, the baskets are below. There’s a couple of low hanging trees that came down in storms that we kept in place strategically, just like a golf course would have a hazard-- like a pond or maybe a sand dune or something like that, but there some hazards out there that they have to go around,” he said.

    Ward anticipates the course will get a lot of use.

    “It’s a year-round event — there’ll be people out there in the middle of winter throwing a disc. They might lose it in the snow, but I guess that’s part (being) a golfer ― they might lose their ball.”

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