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New court is ‘fantastic’

Council OKs refurbishment project at Independence Park paid for by T-Wolves, US Bank

Artist rendering courtesy of city of Marshall This artist rendering shows what the new court for Independence Park will look like. The court is courtesy of the Minnesota Timberwolves and U.S. Bank and will be unveiled in August as part of Sounds of Summer kick-off activities.

MARSHALL — Construction will begin this summer for a special basketball court in Marshall.

Preston Stensrud, parks superintendent for the city of Marshall, received approval from the Marshall City Council at its regular meeting Tuesday evening for the “Our Courts. Our Future.” Award for Basketball Court Refurbishment at Independence Park from the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Minnesota Timberwolves and U.S. Bank have a program to refurbish basketball courts in four regions — North, Central, South and Twin Cities. This is the third year of the court refurbishment program. Last year, the program refurbished courts in Hastings, Hibbing, St. Cloud and St. Paul.

“We applied for this award, or gift, the beginning of April and went through a nomination process,” said Stensrud. Three candidates were picked in each region and by popular vote, Marshall won over North Mankato and Dover in the South region.

Council member Steven Meister said the city of Marshall receiving a new basketball court is “fantastic. It’s a great way for the Timberwolves to give back to the communities. I think this is just a wonderful program. I thank them for what they do for the public, to get kids playing ball. This is leadership.”

The new court will not have a financial burden on the city of Marshall for installation.

The exact cost is unknown, but estimated to be “close to $100,000,” Stensrud said. “It will be a seven-day build” and is planned to be unveiled to the community Thursday, Aug. 15, to kick off the Sounds of Summer.

Stensrud said Timberwolves players will participate according to their schedules.

“They’ll come to town and do a ceremony and some on-court activities,” he said.

The current court at Independence Park will be torn out using local contractors for excavation and concrete work and C & C Construction out of Burnsville will put in a 75-feet-long-by-45-feet wide court.

“Real close to full court,” Stensrud said. “It will be similar to the basketball court in Pipestone on the corner of Highway 23. The court will be raised up so water will drain away.”

The new court “will have the Timberwolves logo and U.S. Bank logo,” he said.

Marshall council member Glenn Bayerkohler asked about the court surface lifespan.

Stensrud said the life of the surface is “15 to 20 years” and is made from a composite material.

“It’s about 5/16ths to 3/8ths thick,” he said.

Bayerkohler said the court will have to be maintained.

“The existing court hasn’t had anything done to it since 1988,” Stensrud said. “In 15 or 20 years, (the new court) will cost about $50,000 for resurfacing or take it out.”

Council member Russ Labat asked about lights.

“We have a security light pole not far from there and (Marshall Municipal Utilities) said by the time we get to (completion) there will be LED street lights in position,” Stensrud said.

“I commend you on the Freedom Park LED lights for the volleyball courts,” said Labat.

“We’ll have the same lights as Freedom Park,” said Stensrud.

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