Cape and Island Tennis & Track
- Written by: Cape and Island Tennis & Track
- Produced by: Cape and Island Tennis & Track
- Estimated reading time: 5 mins
Cape and Island Tennis & Track (CITT) relies on a team of highly experienced professionals to deliver tennis courts and running tracks that stand the test of time and the elements. CITT is New England’s first choice in tennis court and track construction and CITT employees approach every project with the goal of setting an ever-higher bar for quality construction for 40 years. CITT focuses on building value with a highly technical and comprehensive understanding of sport court construction so clients enjoy a high-performance product for decades to come.
“This industry isn’t a race to the bottom; it’s a race to the top,” asserts Gordy Pierce, president of CITT. “We’re certainly not the cheapest guys in town, but we spend a lot of time and effort taking care of all the details to ensure our courts and tracks are in just as good condition 20 years down the road as they were when they were brand new.” Pierce founded CITT in 1971 and hit the ground running, proving CITT’s definitively high-quality standards began from Day One, as the company’s first client was none other than Robert McNamara. McNamara previously served as Secretary of Defense under the Kennedy-Johnson administration, but was head of World Bank by the time Pierce was brought in to build and surface a new tennis court for the McNamara home on Martha’s Vineyard.
At this point Pierce’s only related experience was seal coating driveways and parking lots as he worked his way through high school and college, but his instincts paid off. “I must have done something right, because the court is still there and doing just fine today,” chuckles Pierce. Today, Pierce and the CITT team provides the full spectrum of surfacing and construction of both tennis courts and running tracks, which were folded into CITT’s specialties in the 1970s and 1980s.
Making a Racket
CITT maintains a home base in the town of Pocasset, Mass., on Cape Cod, and Pierce has built off of his limited surfacing experience to build a company well-versed in all kinds of tennis court and synthetic surface running tracks. CITT employs professionals capable of designing, building and maintaining clay, asphalt, acrylic, turf and post-tensioned concrete tennis courts complete with the necessary irrigation and lighting systems. “We maintain the capabilities to construct all of these courts, but on the track side, we choose to focus on the surfacing components,” adds Pierce.
CITT’s focuses its tennis court services to clients within a 90-minute driving radius of headquarters, and on the track services CITT works all over New England. Limiting the team’s range allows CITT to focus on providing a wider array of services to ensure every CITT court remains in top condition throughout the tennis season. CITT maintains roughly between 250 and 300 tennis courts at any given time. Some clients choose to enlist CITT just for seasonal setup and takedown service, such as putting up nets and repainting lines, if necessary. Clients with courts that see a high level of playing on a regular basis can entrust care of their courts to CITT weekly or every other week as needed.
The same maintenance services are offered to clients with CITT running tracks as well, and in addition the company works with clients in need of new tracks across New England. The company specializes in all types of synthetic track surfaces and has been a certified installer of both California Products’ Plexitrac and Beynon Sports Surfaces’ urethane systems for decades. CITT is also a proud member of the American Sports Builders Association (ASBA), certified under both the ASBA’s Tennis Court Builder and Track Builder programs, as well as a member of the Post Tension Institute with a certified Post Tension Concrete Installer.
“These certification programs have been very effective in Massachusetts, because it limits the pool of qualified contractors to those with the necessary skills and experience,” adds Pierce. “Often when a newcomer tries to compete in our specialty areas the clients end up disappointed, because it’s just not going to be the same quality and it ends up costing that client more because they’ll eventually need the court or track to be fixed by an experienced professional.”
A High-performance Portfolio: Tennis and Track
True to the ASBA’s mission of advancing sport facility construction, CITT keeps a high bar for quality construction. Whether working as a subcontractor, prime or co-bidder alongside other ASBA members such as Rockland, Mass.-based R.A.D. Sports, CITT works with general contractors, landscape architects and turf companies to promote pioneering new products and technologies. The company has earned its fair share of ASBA Facility of the Year Awards, including the 2010 award for rebuilding a total of 16 tennis courts at Choate Rosemary School in Wallingford, Conn. and Outdoor Track Facility award winner for Harvard University.
“We’re also trying to emphasize the benefits of post-tensioned concrete tennis courts, which I believe have an indefinite lifecycle,” expands Pierce. “We have some post-tensioned concrete courts that are going on 20 years and they’re still in just as good shape as the day they were built.” Post-tensioned concrete resists cracking, warping and settling over time better than any other hard court surface, and customers also benefit from greater control of grading to facilitate drainage and reduce maintenance costs overall.
CITT and Pierce have also begun experimenting with a new plant-based surfacing product that so far has outperformed the traditional cushioned acrylic systems. “We’re finding the new gel surface has a force reduction between 13 and 15 percent, whereas most cushioned acrylic systems are closer to the three- to five-percent range,” states Pierce. “Not only that, but you can put down an entirely new surface in just five or six hours, which might have taken two weeks to get down with a cushioned acrylic system.”
CITT will hit the 40-year mark in 2012 having built and/or surfaced over 300 tracks and 3,000 tennis courts, and though it has no formal plans to celebrate as of yet, the company has come a long way from building tennis courts on-the-fly and hoping for the best. Cape and Island Tennis & Track has helped transform sport facility construction into a science of its own, pioneering revolutionary construction techniques and products along the way.
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