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CHS tennis court facility finally completed
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The wait is finally over.

Members of the Ceres High tennis program have a place to call home. The school's new, six-court facility was completed on Nov. 6.

"The courts look awesome," said Ceres girls tennis coach Bryan Harden.

Jay Simmonds, facilities planner for Ceres Unified School District, is relieved.

"The facility was supposed to be completed at about this time last year," he said. "We had a lot of setbacks."

The boys and girls tennis teams had to play all of their matches on the road while the district corrected the problems. The girls for two seasons. The boys for one season.

School architect Gary Mallory made the biggest blunder.

Original plans called for concrete courts. Upon Harden's request and the district's approval, Mallory switched to asphalt.

Once complete, the courts had to be doctored because they did not meet guidelines, which were established by the United States Tennis Court & Track Builders Association. The courts were sloped from the netline to the baseline.

"We moved so quickly in making that decision that the slope thing was overlooked," Simmonds said. "It took forever to come up with a solution to fix it."

Mallory picked up the tab.

"He made a mistake and paid for the entire change," Simmonds said. "It was extremely expensive."

Harden is looking forward to the future.

"Now that we have the new courts, we can build our program," he said. "I'd like to do a junior clinic and some kind of winter workouts.

"That's the only was we can compete on a regular basis."

The girls team won the Central California Conference championship outright in 2003 despite practicing and playing off campus for the entire year. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff Reporter of The Ceres (Calif.) Courier