Construction on city's new Pickleball courts begins - East Idaho News

Construction on city’s new Pickleball courts begins

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POCATELLO — Ground has been broken for the Gate City’s new pickleball courts.

Construction on Pocatello’s pickleball complex in Lower Ross Park began at the beginning of last week. When completed, it will be fenced in and have seven courts, with four courts parallel to each other and three courts next to those, all lit by LED lights.

“The pickleball community has been very active in this process and we hear from them quite frequently. So, I’m sure they’re very excited about it,” said Anne Butler, Director of Parks and Recreation.

Pickleball is like tennis mixed with ping pong. Two or four players hit a hollow plastic ball until one side is unable to return it. The net is 34 inches high and the court is 44 feet long and 20 feet wide. For comparison, a tennis court is 78 feet in length and 36 feet wide.

So far, Parks and Recreation staff have marked and moved irrigation lines. Street department personnel have now began tearing out grass in the shape of the complex.

The city completed its bid process on Sept. 13, so they now have contractors to complete the fencing, surfacing and lighting. Once the street department has filled the complex with asphalt, the surface will be completed and it will be fenced and lit.

“That’s all there is to that project,” Butler said.

Originally, $500,000 was allocated for the project, but Butler said the actual, final cost could be under that amount.

“I think the council was just trying to set an estimate down that we felt like we could ensure that we got the project done,” Butler said. “That doesn’t mean that it’s going to take a half a million dollars to build.”

Butler said many costs of a project are unknown until they receive bids back from companies, so, “I do think it was reasonable to set a solid number there, to ensure that we could get them built as efficiently as possible.”

All of the funds for this project came from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), so any leftover funds from the courts would be reallocated to other approved city projects that could be come out to be over budget.

“There is a whole list of other departments working on projects related to ARPA dollars as well,” Butler said.

Projects in Butler’s department include water infrastructure, resurfacing Brooklyn’s Playground and the Ross Park slide, to name a few. This doesn’t include other projects by other departments of the city.

“We’re doing a lot of great things, so there’s going to be a lot of cool projects we have coming in the future,” she said.

Some in the community have said that because Pickleball is so new, it’s a fad. Butler doesn’t agree with this point of view.

“It’s been around for several years now and I would consider it pretty similar to tennis or golf or any other variety of activities people choose to participate in,” Butler said. “I think it’s here to stay.”