Iowa City experienced significant damage from storms in the summer of 2018. West High School was one of the areas that suffered damage similar to that seen at Tait Cummins Sports Complex. The fence system surrounding the tennis courts was particularly affected.
MMS was called to assess the damage, provide a plan to repair the facility and supervise the work to bring it back to standards.
Three main issues were identified and determined to need corrective action through modification of existing elements and new elements were added.
There were issues with the original contractor’s craftsmanship of the fence, the wind screens, and the spacing of the line posts. During the inspection of the damage a number of minor contractor errors were discovered that aided in the failure of the fencing like missing fabric ties, inconsistent post heights and unconnected top rail caps.
The school had previously experienced issues with the windscreens breaking the plastic ties in minor wind gusts so they had been replacing 60# ties with 250# ties. When the large storm came though in Aug. 2018 the new larger ties did not break and wind screen acted as a sail. The screens pulled the fence apart on the west fence and were on the windward side of the fabric on the east fence where the wind was strong enough to bend the posts. The heavy ties were all replaced with 120# ties that hold the screen in typical storms, but break in higher wind conditions.
After the posts were repaired or replaced the school agreed to our new design that added posts to the original fence lines.
Life Time Fence was the awarded contractor and work was completed during the 2018 - 2019 school year. The repaired and modified tennis fences survived the 2020 derecho with only broken ties and some ripped windscreens.