By BOB SHRALUKA
“Pickleball has been a pretty hot topic the last few years,” Operations Manager Jeremy Gilbert told city council at a recent meeting, drawing some chuckles.
Pickleball, in fact, could be labeled a burning inferno in these parts. And because of the overwhelming interest, the city-county parks and recreation department is planning to add seven – that’s seven! – more courts this year.
Six of them will be situated behind Riverside Center, where a sand volleyball court is currently located. The fencing there will be taken down and a new sand volleyball court will be established just west of its current site.
In addition, another pickleball court will be added to the two current courts at the REV Sports Complex. The existing courts are set up east and west, but will be redirected to north and south for the addition of the third court.
Currently, pickleball courts also are located in Riverside Center, the MERIT Center, and the Adams County Service Complex – all indoors.
The idea for the additional courts was brought by a group of pickleball enthusiasts, and it was “kicked around for quite some time,” Gilbert noted.
The group, park board officials, county commissioners, and city and county councils, along with the Adams County Community Foundation and Decatur Rotary Club have all been involved in the planning. In issuing appreciation to all involved, Gilbert said, “This shows how we can work together.”
He noted that $94,000 has been secured from the county for the new Riverside courts.
City employees will do the demolition and prep work, and Brooks Construction is expected put down the foundations at Riverside this summer.