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Contract to build pickleball complex awarded to Louisiana company

Construction on the pickleball courts at Halls Ferry Park could soon get underway.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Tuesday awarded a contract to Quality Court Industries of Baton Rouge to build the courts.

Quality Court bid $253,676 to do the work. The bid was the lowest of four bids submitted for the project, which was rebid in October after the initial bids for the courts in September came in over the $278,000 budget for the project. The project was also redesigned to help reduce its cost.

South Ward Alderman Alex Monsour, who is over city recreation, said work will begin on the courts after a meeting between the contractor and project engineer Neel-Schaffer.

“It’s been a long time coming,” he said, adding the new courts will resolve issues involving the Halls Ferry tennis courts which were doing double duty as pickleball courts.

“It’ll help because we won’t be marking up the (tennis) courts or marking up the courts and they’ll (pickleball players) will have their own courts. It will enable us to attract pickleball tournaments that are happening on the coast and all around and get people to the city of Vicksburg,” Monsour said.

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 or 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 and threatening the potential to host the U.S. Tennis Association-sanctioned tennis tournaments at the tennis complex, Monsour said in September.

City officials initially planned to build the pickleball courts adjacent to the tennis complex but problems with the proposed site forced the courts’ relocation to the ladies softball field at Halls Ferry.

Monsour said the field was a natural site and the city would be able to build courts specifically for pickleball and players will have access to a nearby restroom that will be remodeled as part of the development.

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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