Basketball court cracks cause delays

Basketball court cracks cause delays

The hoops at the Anna McCabe basketball courts have not been put up, to prevent use before repairs are made to a crack and some dipping on the court. (Breeze photo by Jacquelyn Moorehead)

SMITHFIELD – The hoops are standing at the Anna McCabe Elementary School basketball courts on Pleasant View Avenue, but the nets remain unhung as the project is delayed due to problems with the concrete below.

The deadline for completion was originally set for the end of June, but Town Manager Randy Rossi said officials are waiting for the contractor to fix a crack in the high-tension concrete. Other areas of the court are dipping, Rossi said, and will cause water to pool and damage the court or lead to injury.

Several times at past School Committee and Town Council meetings, officials repeated their desire for the courts to be completed before summer leagues were to begin. Now the court’s completion date has been extended to the end of August.

“I want the courts in perfect condition before we open them,” Rossi said.

Back in April, the Anna McCabe Basketball Courts Subcommittee decided to pay $120,000 for post-tension concrete from Classic Turf Company. The cost of the concrete was more than the asphalt alternative but had double the warranty at 20 years. Classic Turf was the low bidder on the project.

In April, subcommittee Chairman David Russas told the School Committee that construction of the courts was ahead of schedule. At the time, the subcommittee was confident the courts would be completed in time for summer sports. Now, Rossi said he expects the courts to be open before the first day of school on Aug. 28.

Repairs will be made to the crack with strong epoxy, and the company will correct any dipping greater than one-eighth of an inch. Classic Turf will guarantee repairs for 20 years, Rossi said.

“We had a great discussion with the contractor to come up with solutions to fix problems,” he said.

The town will be testing dips in the concrete this week, Rossi said. Those will be fixed with epoxy as well.

In total, the town gave the subcommittee a $175,000 budget for the project, but the subcommittee came back to town officials on May 1 requesting a $30,000 loan to pay for increased concrete cost, pending a 50 percent Rhode Island Department of Education reimbursement to be paid for the courts.

Keeping the nets off the hoops is purposeful, to keep people off the courts until they are finished. Though the courts weren’t ready for summer basketball, Rossi said they’ll be an asset to the town for many years to come.

In the meantime, Rossi said he and his daughters play basketball at Deerfield Park. He said the park is a great resource in town, and the new courts at McCabe will be even better.

“It’s so much fun at Deerfield, I’ve got to tell you. And this is going to be even better once we have the court complete, but it’s nice to get the use down there,” he said.

He said girls and boys basketball was rescheduled to the underused Deerfield Park, and the schedules have worked out well.

“It seemed seamless,” he said, adding it was unfortunate the move was needed but he wants the court perfect before it is opened for public use.