Future of pickleball courts remains in the design phase

Published 4:54 pm Thursday, February 6, 2020

Vicksburg’s project to build pickleball courts at Halls Ferry Park could be ready to go out for bid sometime in March, the project’s engineer said.

But Tom Henderson with Neel-Schaffer engineers said the project’s cost has not been determined, adding, “We’re still working on the design. I hate to put a number out when we’re still trying to finalize things.”

A group of pickleball enthusiasts approached South Ward Alderman Alex Monsour in September about building some courts at Halls Ferry Park.

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Pickleball is a game played with a paddle and a plastic ball with holes that employs the elements of tennis, Ping Pong and badminton that is played both indoors and outdoors on a badminton-sized court and a slightly modified tennis net.

The sport has become popular with many residents, who play at several local gymnasiums and on the Halls Ferry tennis courts, where the pickleball courts are lined off using tape.

But the tape used to line off the courts was damaging the tennis courts, Monsour said, emphasizing the need for building the new courts.

“I’ve already set the money aside; because it was in the bond issue prior to me getting here,” Monsour said. “I just have to make sure it comes in under budget.”

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Oct. 18 authorized the project and approved an agreement with Jackson-based engineering firm Neel-Schaffer not to exceed $23,000 to handle engineering for the construction of eight pickleball courts near the tennis courts at Halls Ferry.

Plans show the courts will be located on the east side of the courts which has a slight downward slope. Henderson said the slope has to be considered in the project’s design.

Henderson said the pickleball courts will be about the same size as a tennis court and will be lit. He said the playing area is smaller than the area of a tennis court, “But the overall footprint will be about the same area,” he said. “Depending on how you lay it out, you could get two or three pickleball courts in a tennis court-sized area.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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