Trail tennis and pickleball players will be happy to hear that when they return to play next season, it will be on a brand new court.
Trail city council unanimously approved the go ahead of the reconstruction of the Butler Park tennis and pickleball courts in an Apr. 27 Governance and Operations Committee meeting.
The contract to upgrade the courts, located just outside the Aquatic Centre, was awarded to Sierra Landscaping.
“This is a two year project, with the Columbia Basin Trust (Trust) providing grant funding in support of the project,” said Trail Chief Administration Officer, David Perehudoff.
“While the contract to proceed has now been awarded, physical work will not commence until the fall and will be completed in the later part of spring 2021.”
In March, the Trust announced its contribution of $135,000 to the project that will see a complete rebuild of the six courts.
Sierra landscapers will replace the playing surface to eliminate cracks, improve court spacing, delineate the separation of the tennis and pickleball courts to enhance safety, and develop new access points.
“We support projects that encourage people to get active and enjoy recreation in the region’s outdoor spaces,” said Will Nixon, Trust senior manager, in a release.
“Projects like this impact individuals’ well-being and contribute to robust and vibrant communities.”
Pickleball is one of the fastest growing activities in North America, and has similarities to tennis and badminton, but is unique in its own right.
A pickleball playing area was added to the Butler Park facility a few year ago and has been used on a regular basis by the Kootenay and Trail Pickleball Clubs and other residents, that is until the onset of the current pandemic.
The city cancelled or postponed a number of projects this year, but felt it was necessary to continue with the upgrades to the court, even though they are currently closed for public use due to municipal restrictions adopted in response to the coronavirus.
“It was therefore important to move this project along in response to the condition of the courts and the cracks that were developing,” said Perehudoff. “If work was not lined up and approved, there was a real risk of a longer-term closure and the city did not want to run the risk of losing the grant funding being provided.”
There is a glimmer of hope that COVID-19 restrictions will soon be relaxed and outdoor sports will resume in some capacity.
The courts are a popular facility, and Trail pickleball and tennis players are eager to reclaim their serve.
“It is hoped that COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted so the public can use the courts for the remainder of the 2020 play season before the actual work proceeds and starts in the fall and is completed next year.”