Luther to renovate outdoor tennis courts to state-of-the-art surface

A renovation of outdoor tennis courts this summer will mark the beginning of a new era for Luther College tennis. The college's 12 courts will be resurfaced using a state-of-the-art method resulting in a more durable, stable and consistent playing surface. This $1 million renovation project is fully funded by a generous gift from an alumni couple who wishes to remain anonymous.

Work is scheduled to be completed by the end of August, and Adam Strand, Luther head tennis coach for both the men's and women's teams, is eager for the players to start taking advantage of the improved courts. "We are extremely grateful to the anonymous donors who made this project possible. Luther tennis will now have one of the premier outdoor venues in our area, and we are excited for our student-athletes to have the opportunity to practice and compete in such an outstanding facility," he said.

A camera has been set up above the rear deck on Dahl Centennial Union on the Luther campus, so alumni, friends and others interested can follow the project's progress no matter where they live. The valley-cam feed is available at

The resurfacing is done using post-tensioning, which involves encasing sheathed cables in a concrete slab, then stressing and locking the cables after the concrete has set. The courts will be stronger and last longer than the previous asphalt surface. The new post-tension surface resists cracking caused by the temperature fluctuations, rain and snow of northeast Iowa's four seasons. The surface also offers a more controlled slope for better drainage, which keeps water from pooling. Lack of cracking and draining problems means maintenance costs will be lower overall.

According to Strand, Luther tennis team members and community players who use the courts will all benefit from the improved surface because bad bounces from cracks and dead spots will be eliminated.

Luther will continue to have the most outdoor courts of any college or university in the Iowa Conference and will be the only conference venue with post-tension concrete.

The renovation also includes new windscreens, fencing, nets and a new storage shed. Tennis fans will benefit too as lower fence height in some areas will increase viewing for spectators.

The Opus Group, headquartered in Minneapolis, has been selected as contractor for the project. Renner Sports Surfaces of Denver, Colo., will handle the post-tension concrete work.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,150, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website:

Construction on Luther tennis courts is underway
Participating in the ground-breaking ceremony for the Luther College tennis courts were, left to right, Jay Uthoff, director of Facilities Services; Eric Runestad, vice president for finance and administration; Jim Jermier, vice president for development; Jeffrey Anderson, member of Luther's Board of Regents; Paula Carlson, president; Alex Smith, associate director of athletics; Renae Hartl, director of intercollegiate athletics.