Family Spends $1.6 million for Sport Court Backyard "Dream Court"

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Son wanted roller hockey, wife wanted to figure skate, daughter and dad wanted to play tennis. A Sport Court backyard game court was designed to accomodate all of them, but they had to buy and tear down the house next door to make the dream come true!

It's the story of a family's love for sports and their desire to bring that into their own backyard; the story of a family that envisioned a "dream court" and would stop at nothing to make that vision a reality. The son dreamt of a place to play roller hockey, the wife longed for a place to figure skate, while the daughter and father wanted a court to play tennis. "Trouble was the Bakers (not their real names) didn't have enough room on their Westchester County property to accommodate a court for all the activities of this sports-minded family," said Bill Coughlin, who with his wife Elise owns Hudson Valley Sport Court, Inc.

"The Baker's son introduced me to the proposed site and I shook my head. I told him there was not enough room to build the backyard game court he wanted," continued Coughlin.

"What if we tear down the house next door?" the son responded. "Would that give you enough room for our court?"

"At first I wasn't sure if he was serious, but after conferring with his father, it became clear that the family would spare no expense to have us build the court of their dreams," said Coughlin.

And $1.6 million later, the dream came true, demonstrating the ends to which some folks will go to provide their family with year-'round play.

"Nothing is more important than family," said the owner. Hudson Valley Sport Court, Inc., has now completed construction of the "dream court" for the Bakers, applying finishing touches to a court on which all three activities (and more, actually) could take place, depending on the season.

"We've built a lot of courts, but this is the biggest job we've ever done," Elise Coughlin added.

"Sure enough, the family tore down the vacant house next door to make room for the court," said Coughlin, who supervised this massive job. "They had to go through an extensive permitting process before they got the go ahead from the county," said Bill Coughlin.

Once the permitting and engineering were complete, demolition and construction could begin. "After preparing the base, we put a curb around it. Every ten feet we placed interior drains," said Coughlin.

Then Coughlin put down the Sport Court® PowerGame® surface in tennis blue and green, the US Open colors. Naturally, there had to be a fence to keep the balls within the court.

"But that fence was a challenge for basketball," said Bill Coughlin. "We erected a basketball standard by placing anchors outside of the curb, with backboards behind the fence. A notch in the fence allows for lowering of the backboard."

Ice-skating? "When it finally got cold enough, I pulled out the tennis net poles and plugged them with screw-in fittings. Then we placed a seamless poly tarp over the court. Next day two water trucks pulled up and poured 6,000 gallons each onto the tarp, filling it in a total of 30 minutes. After that we let Mother Nature take her course," said Coughlin. The whole process of transforming the Sport Court game court from tennis to ice-skating took half-a-day.

Construction of the court included a patio with custom canopy to match the court, providing shade in summer and shelter from the winter wind, rain and snow. "We worked a lot with the 16-year-old son of the homeowner to coordinate the project," Bill Coughlin added. "He knew what each member of the family wanted. He had a big say in managing the project. It's one of the most beautiful courts we've ever built," adds Coughlin. "And the Bakers were a dream to work with."

Despite all the expenses and hard work, the Baker's story is proof that you simply can't put a price tag on family recreation and, ultimately, their happiness.

More athletic events are played on Connor Sport Court surfaces than on any other sports flooring in the world. Sport Court® is a registered trade mark of Connor Sport Court International. It is used to identify the original and authentic modular sport surfaces developed and introduced in 1974.

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