The School of the Osage Board of Education is moving quickly to get a set of tennis courts for its high school tennis team which has been without for the entire spring season.

The School of the Osage Board of Education is moving quickly to get a set of tennis courts for its high school tennis team which has been without for the entire spring season.
The board voted Monday night to seek bids on building four new courts between the high school baseball and softball outfields in hopes the courts will be ready by fall.
For 25 seasons, the tennis teams have used the courts at the Country Club Hotel and Spa just off Horseshoe Bend Parkway. The courts have been available for practice this spring, but are no longer adequate for competition. Country Club officials have indicated they have no interest in rebuilding the courts and, in fact, have tentative plans to build condos where the courts are located now.
Lodge of Four Seasons only has two courts and Tan-Tar-A one set, so the OHS team has competed successfully on off-site courts at the Camdenton High School and at other schools.
"If we're going to have our own courts next year, you need to act tonight," Superintendent Dr. Brent DepeÈ told the board. "We could way, which would delay it a year, or we could not do anything at all."
Dr. Tony Berry told the board that the Country Club courts are not in good condition.
"We're at a point we need to do something," he said.
The good news is the lack of a "home" court advantage didn't hurt the boys' team which had a 12-1 record including a district title win Wednesday, May 13.

The plan
Four 78-foot, regulation courts are planned between the outfields of the baseball and softball diamonds adjacent to the high school. The footprint would be 120x204 feet, and the location would be easily served from the high school.
Dr. Berry said there shouldn't be any issues with buried utilities, adding that restrooms and concessions are available now at the softball/baseball complex and the area will be secure because of existing fencing in the area. The area is relatively flat and should require little fill to complete the project.
Superintendent DepeÈ said the project would be paid from the capital improvement fund. He said the courts, new security cameras at several locations around the district and making district areas more ADA (American Disabilities Act) accessible will cost about $2 million.
Board member James Edwards noted that the new courts wouldn't get as much use as the Country Club courts have over the years, and thus should last longer.
Bids will be sought for opening June 8 and then for board consideration June 9 during a special meeting.

Health escrow
The school district's self-insured health escrow account has fallen to about $150,000, which continues to be worrisome for school officials. The district earmarks about $500,000 each year to subsidize the fund and has made adjustments in its health insurance and prescription programs to slow the drain.
Depee said several recent claims cost the district about $124,000, but $44,000 of that will be reimbursed by insurance companies. He told the board he has budgeted another half million dollars for health insurance in the upcoming 2015-16 budget.