SWR board member seeks quick fix for tennis courts

05/15/2014 12:00 PM |
A view of two of Shoreham's tennis courts, which have become unplayable after years of neglect. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)

A view of two of Shoreham’s tennis courts, which have become unplayable after years of neglect. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)

Shoreham-Wading River board member Rich Pluschau said he wants to make the process to repair the high school’s unsafe tennis courts “quicker and simpler.” 

At Tuesday night’s school board meeting, he suggested the board circumvent the state competitive bidding rules by splitting the tennis court work into two: fixing the cracks in the courts and coating the surface. He also suggested moving funding from other sources to pay for the repairs.

“I’d like to treat the first one as ‘paving repair,’ ” he said. “For the second one, [let’s see] if we can get creative with our maintenance funds.”

The Shoreham-Wading River School District closed its tennis courts in March after the district’s insurance company deemed the facilities “hazardous” and “unsafe,” according to a previous News-Review report.

RO3_0768.NEFMr. Arcuri said the district would be able to send out a request for proposals if the repairs cost under $35,000.

But assistant superintendent Glen Arcuri said the district couldn’t split up one project with the same vendor to get under the limit for competitive bidding.

“Your procurement guidelines … will clearly show you using the same vendor to do the same work on the tennis courts is a single project,” Mr. Arcuri said, stressing that the district’s guidelines forbid that action.

Mr. Pluschau next suggested if district employees could make the repairs, but Mr. Arcuri said the district’s resources would be focused on consolidation in the summer and were not qualified to coat the courts.

Still, Mr. Pluschau asked Mr. Arcuri to research how the board could find a loophole to avoid competitive bidding; in response, Mr. Arcuri said his staff could do whatever the board asked of them.

With the courts unplayable this spring, the Shoreham boys tennis team played its home matches at Longwood Middle School. The varsity team earned the No. 17 seed in the playoffs and lost Wednesday afternoon to Sayville.

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[Caption: Shoreham-Wading River’s Chris Kuhnle played first singles Wednesday in the Wildcats’ playoff match at Sayville. The Golden Flashes won 5-2. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)