Project at Steamboat Tennis and Pickleball Center boosted by $1M donation
With the help of an anonymous donor, the Steamboat Tennis and Pickleball Center is closing in on its fundraising goals.
“I got a call from the Yampa Valley Community Foundation and they go, ‘You better sit down. You’re not gonna believe this,’” Loretta Conway recalled.
Conway is the executive director for the Court Sports 4 Life Foundation, a local nonprofit that’s currently leasing the Steamboat Tennis and Pickleball Center at 2500 Pine Grove Road.
Her conversation with the the foundation took place in December 2021. At the time, she was busy leading a large-scale construction and renovation project for the tennis center that was originally estimated at $6 million.
However, due to rising construction costs nationwide, the quote had surpassed $10 million. Conway and her team had raised enough money to move ahead with phase one of the project, but they were still a long way from reaching the $10 million goal.
Then a few days before Christmas, Conway got the phone call telling her an anonymous donor had a check for $1 million to support the project.
“I was like, ‘Oh my God,’” Conway said with a chuckle.
The donor still has not been identified.
Conway and her team have now raised about $7 million in funding, including about $4 million from donations, grants and sponsorships, and another $3 million coming from approved financing.
If not for increasing construction costs, Conway and her team would have already smashed their $6 million goal.
Jeff Temple, chair of the building committee for the Court Sports 4 Life Foundation, attributes most of the additional costs to a sharp rise in the prices of raw materials.
“Well, steel prices have gone way up,” Temple said. “Concrete’s gone up. We don’t have a whole lot of wood in the building, but of course wood’s gone way up.”
Temple and his team are getting closer to solidifying a guaranteed max price for both phases of the contract, which would ensure costs do not increase any further.
Phase one of the renovation and construction project was initially expected to begin in late May, but has since been pushed back into June, mostly because of a study that recommended 26 parking spaces in the design, up from the 24 parking spots in the original design.
Leadership of Court Sports 4 Life responded to the parking study by altering the design to include 28 parking spots.
“We fully took into account the impact the new facilities will have and made sure that we provided adequate parking for those facilities,” Temple said. “So that was a good thing to do.”
Phase one of the project involves constructing 12 new pickleball courts outside, while phase two involves the construction of a building to cover them. Ultimately, the tennis and pickleball courts will have their own respective buildings.
The playing surfaces will also be redone using a material called Laykold, a gel designed to absorb the downward force of active feet while also being bouncy enough for a tennis or pickleball.
“For older pickleball players like myself, the cushion is really sweet,” Temple said.
Officials at Court Sports 4 Life insist the renovations will not affect fee prices, though the fees may change due to other factors.
The nets for the tennis courts are already up, and the pickleball nets are expected to go up around this weekend.
Conway expects about six weeks of full access before construction starts, and once it does, the availability of outdoor courts will change depending on the construction areas. Indoor courts will not be affected by any construction.
Phase one is expected to be complete this fall.
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