Sam Binter Tennis Complex

The Ribbon Cutting and Dedication hosted by the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce was held Wednesday, September 11, 2019 at 5:30pm.

Among the guests in attendance was former Superintendent Sue Givens, along with current school board members and City Commissioners.  The tennis court project was a joint venture between the City of El Dorado and USD490.

Mayor Vince Haines and Superintendent Teresa Tosh shared remarks with the crowd before USD490 School Board President, Norm Wilks help Mayor Haines cut the ribbon.

Mayor Vince Haines and USD490 Board of Education President Norm Wilkes cut the ribbon at the dedication of the Sam Binter Tennis Complex located on North Main Street. 

Sam Binter, left, and USD490 Superintendent Teresa Tosh with the comparative plaque. 

Work on Tennis Courts to Move Forward

Mayor Haines recused himself by declaring a conflict of interest on the topic of the Tennis Courts to be built in North Main Park.  The City of El Dorado along with USD 490 have entered into an agreement to construct an 8 court tennis complex. As Vice Mayor, Wilkinson assumed chairmanship of the Commission for the discussions.  

A request for qualifications were mailed out to 16 firms, out of which, 5 submitted statements of qualifications. A review committee of 6 members (2 City of El Dorado, 3 USD 490, 1 At Large) reviewed and independently voted on 10 factors:

  1. Commitment of Interest to Project. Use your judgment to determine commitment based on submittal.

  2. Ability to perform the desired services within the time prescribed. Was the firm able to identify a timeline to
    complete the work for use within the next school year?

  3. Past performance of the firm. Your experience with the firm and their performance

  4. Approach to the Design. Your thoughts on how they identified their design process.

  5. Previous experience with Tennis Courts. Based on the submittal your opinion.

  6. Individuals Experience. Team members identified in submittal and their individual experience.

  7. Accessibility of Firm’s Office. Location of office to the project.

  8. Firm’s familiarity with project area. How familiar are they with El Dorado, did they investigate the site,

  9. Firm’s knowledge of design procedures. Was the firm able to identify their procedures?

  10. Other Factors. Please rank based on anything you deem important outside of the questions above. Please write that factor in the space below.

The cumulative highest ranking firm was Professional Engineering Consultants (PEC), who proposed a design build process to ensure the courts would be available for next fall.

Commissioner Lewis expressed his concern of the public’s perception of a conflict of interest.

Stating that PEC may potentially subcontract out the design work, for the restroom/concession building that will be at the tennis facility, to Gravity Works.  

Commissioner Guthrie agreed that there could be an issue with public perception but he cited poor execution by PEC on a previous project.  Commissioners Badwey and Wilkinson noted that they wanted local businesses to be considered for projects and not be automatically disqualified because of the public’s perception of a conflict.  Lewis changed his objection to concur with Guthrie’s assessment of poor execution on a previous project and the motion failed 2-2.

Mayor Haines returned to the Commission Room and upon learning of the motion’s failure asked if it was due to the the inclusion of Gravity Works as a potential subcontractor.  Determined to keep the project moving forward and have it ready for the students to play on this fall, as agreed upon with USD490, Haines withdrew Gravity Works from the bid. The motion passed 3-2. Commissioners Guthrie and Lewis opposed.

Coutts Kids Club

The public is invited to attend the Coutts Kid’s Club “Winter Wonderland” exhibit and reception which will be held on December 1st and open to the public during El Dorado Main Street’s Old Fashion Christmas.

The Coutts Kid’s Club is an after school program for children in 4th and 5th grades.  Students are bussed to the museum for the program which runs from 3:45pm-6pm on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and held in the Coutts Museum Classroom.


Students use critical thinking and design skills to plan the layout for their exhibit.


In addition to creating art, the members of this session of the Coutts Kid’s Club have been using critical thinking and design skills to learn how to best display their art.

Coutts Kid’s Club is staffed by volunteers, two of whom are retired art teachers and is funded in part from a matching grant through Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission (CAIC).  

To learn more about the next session of Coutts Kid’s Club, or the “Winter Wonderland” Exhibition, contact Coutts Museum at (316) 321-1212.