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Mission Pickleball Club aces request for new courts, project approved less than month after ask

Hatzic Middle School’s empty tennis courts to be transformed into 10 pickleball courts
Susan Willis of Port Townsend, a relatively new pickleball player, takes command of her side of the court Tuesday evening. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)

If all goes to plan, the Mission Pickleball Club will get a new pickleball court by the end of the year. The project got Mission council’s backing less than a month after their delegation made the initial request.

The tennis courts at Hatzic Middle School will be transformed into the city’s second set of pickleball courts, council unanimously approved on May 16. The project is waiting on a letter of agreement with the Mission School District.

Ten courts will result from the renovations, which include surface cleaning, crack repair, lining, poles, nets and gravel parking to accommodate up to 10 courts.

The local pickleball club presented a delegation to council on April 19, asking for more courts. They expressed frustration about long wait times at Mission’s one existing court at Hillside Park, spoke about how the sport is rapidly growing and accessible, and the came with a list of preferred courts to be upgraded.

Mayor Paul Horn commented on the speed in which the city acted on the club’s request. He said council is often approached by recreational delegations, but the club’s presentation should serve as a template for future requests.

“They were organized and brought forward solid advocacy, smart, and came with an ask that was doable,” Horn said, adding they offered to put in “elbow grease” and fundraise themselves. “I know that a number of others are wondering where council will land on issues such as expensive turf fields and covered facilities.

“I think it’s wise for community groups to think about what they’re going to do to help catalyze (the request) … Even if it’s not a huge amount of time or money, those are good gestures.”

Funding will come out of the existing parks department budget, and another $10,000 will be added for ongoing maintenance. Total costs are anticipated to be around $72,000, and will be developed over two phases.

Phase 1 will begin in 2022 and take a year to clean the surface, seal cracks, line the courts, install the net and poles, and install a gravel parking lot. Phase 2 will coat the surface, conduct further repairs and install fencing dividing east and west courts.

The Hatzic Park Middle School courts were chosen as they have a playable surface that’s easy to upgrade further, are not currently getting much use and can support more parking.

RELATED: The Mission Pickleball Club wants more pickleball courts


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