An aerial view of the new tennis courts at Huning Ranch Park in Los Lunas.
Photo courtesy of Molzen Corbin

LOS LUNAS — Call it an ace.

Even with the COVID-19 pandemic in the mix, the village of Los Lunas in September served up six new tennis courts at Huning Ranch Park.

Jason Duran, the parks and recreation director, said the addition of the courts was the final project in completing Huning Ranch Park, which was first introduced in 2010.

With the cost of just under $1 million, the tennis courts’ price tag was paid out of the village’s general fund, according to Duran.

The addition of tennis courts has been in the plans for Los Lunas since the beginning, Duran said, as there were only four courts in the village previously.

Duran said from sunrise until 10 p.m. community members can utilize the tennis courts every day at the park, which was designed to United States Tennis Association standards. Molzen Corbin, the engineering firm that designed the courts at Huning Ranch Park, is a statewide company that deals with project creation.

Los Lunas has used Molzen Corbin in the past, with the firm having completed other phases of Huning Ranch Park, the Fred Luna Multi-Generational Center, Los Lunas Public Library and the Los Lunas Transportation Center, among other projects.

John Quinn Pate, vice president of architecture for Molzen Corbin, oversaw the design aspect of the tennis courts at the park and said it was constructed of asphalt and a vulcanized surface that has a rubber-like texture.

The design of the courts took about three months and the construction phase “took approximately one year due to critical temperature requirements for the tennis surface material application,” Pate said.

Marie Kemmeren readies her serve in a game of doubles at the new tennis courts at Huning Ranch Park in Los Lunas. Kemmeren, and a group of local seniors, meet for games of tennis on a weekly basis.
Matthew Narvaiz | News-Bulletin photo

“It’s kind of a rubberized surface that goes over asphalt and it’s critical that the asphalt is perfectly flat,” Pate said. “And by flat it still drains off in one direction. But it can’t have any bumps or divots or things that would trip people.”

Marie Kemmeren readies her serve in a game of doubles at the new tennis courts at Huning Ranch Park in Los Lunas. Kemmeren, and a group of local seniors, meet for games of tennis on a weekly basis.
Matthew Narvaiz | News-Bulletin photo

Pate added that “asphalt is less susceptible than concrete to cracking due to temperature changes.”

The courts also have lights on a timer for evening play — enough to illuminate the courts but not to blind those playing tennis.

“You want to have a good level of light that doesn’t shine in people’s eyes. But also lights from the side so that people can see what they are hitting,” Pate said.

Two of the six courts have also been optimized for pickleball, including the addition of “striping and court boundaries.”

Stephanie Martinez, of Los Lunas, said she and her family — her husband and two kids –– have already utilized the new tennis courts at the park, and they all enjoy using them. She said her husband, who used to play tennis at Belen High School, has been teaching their 9-year-old kid the basics of tennis, while their 18 month old “runs around us while we play.”

A group of seniors has been meeting weekly, too ­— on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, said Dave Grussendorf.

“We need more people to come out,” Grussendorf said.

Carolyn Newton, who has been playing tennis since she was a child and was taught by her late father, has enjoyed using the new courts.

“I love it because of the lights,” Newton said.

Newton, who played tennis in the New Mexico Senior Olympics in Roswell in 2014, is training for future events and hopes to participate in the games again when she turns 60 in a year and a half.

Huning Ranch Park was originally slated for completion by 2017, but Duran said the target date was pushed back “because of funding year to year.” He said the addition of the courts is all encompassing.

“These courts help increase the quality of life opportunities for all residents in the village, while also helping our local schools have a facility to practice and hopefully play matches in the future,” Duran said.

Aside from the tennis courts, the 12-acre Huning Ranch Park features a walking trail, basketball courts, playgrounds, a dog park and a grass area.

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