Brittney Burns – Staff Writer

Last week,  the town of Franklin Board of Aldermen unanimously voted to approve upgrades to the basketball court located at the Franklin Memorial Park. The park, which is also known as Jaycee Park, has undergone significant upgrades throughout the year with additional work planned in the upcoming budget cycle.

The board approved $14,325 to improve the basketball courts, with the funds coming from capital outlay funding reallocated from the scrubbed Main Street crosswalk project.

The bid for the project was awarded to Randall Hall of Commerce, Ga., which includes cleaning, prepping and repairing the current basketball court at the park. Alderman Joe Collins, who serves as the town’s recreation representative, noted that in addition to repairing the court, the existing basketball goals and posts will be refurbished to like new condition.

The town originally looked at resurfacing the basketball courts, but after meeting with Hall, he informed Town Manager Summer Woodard that a substantial amount of money could be saved if the court was repaired instead.

“For a relatively small amount of money, Hall’s suggestion for improving the basketball courts will give a fresh look to really the only park we have,” said Collins before making the recommendation the board move forward with the project. “For under $15,000, we can have that court looking like a million dollars.”

Hall’s proposal suggested giving the court a high pressure power wash to remove dirt, mildew and all loose material to have a clean base for the new surface to adhere. The cracks in the court will be cleared of all weeds and then will be treated to prevent future vegetation growth. Larger cracks in the asphalt will be tamped with a filler.

The court repair is the first step. To seal the filler added to the cracks, the second step of repairs will include the court receiving two coats of acrylic resurface paint. New paint will also be added. The court will be stripped with regulation playing lines, a free throw lane, foul line, hash marks, half circle at top of the key and three point lines. Collins explained that to optimize the usage of the court, a hopscotch court, regulation shuffleboard court and a four square court 16 x 16 feet will be painted with the white line paint in the dead zone area of the court.

Hall’s proposal states that the repairs will have a five to eight year lifespan and Woodard noted that the work is guaranteed to withstand flooding, which the memorial park is prone to.

The existing basketball goals and posts will be refurbished to look almost like new again with the posts cleaned free of rust and dirt before being primed and painted with two coats of black paint. The existing backboards will also be prepped and painted in the same manner except with white paint.

Collins proposed maximizing the space of the court by adding two additional eight foot tall basketball goals to the other side of the court that would allow for half court play.

The basketball court upgrade is the first of several proposed improvements to the park. The board plans to continue looking at options to improve the park’s playground and parking lot.