BDCRA to install new pickle ball courts on Potter Street

Published 9:27 am Wednesday, October 27, 2021

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The Bainbridge Decatur County Recreation Authority met Thursday afternoon for their monthly board meeting. Among the items on the day’s agenda included the Rec Authority’s new pickle ball project, which will see three pickle ball courts installed at Potter Street, and eight courts installed at the Bill Reynolds Tennis Center. The estimated budget for the whole project is $150,000.

Recreation Authority executive director Joel Holmes spoke with the Post-Searchlight about the upcoming project.

“I came as executive director in January, and just in the recreational field, we’re all aware that pickle ball is a growing sport,” he said. “It’s been said that it’s the fastest growing sport in America, if not the world.”

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According to Holmes, the Recreation Board also wanted to offer free pickle ball for citizens.

“It was a need because, right now at the Tennis Center, you have to pay a court fee of $5 to play tennis or pickle ball, or you can be a member, and it’s $150 a year, or you can pay it monthly, at $12.50 a month.”

These free courts will be on Potter Street, with one of the existing tennis courts being resurfaced into pickle ball courts.

Several vendors have been approached for the construction, with the bidding process to last 30 days.

“Once that’s done, at least by the end of this year, going into the first of next year, we’ll start and expect to have them done,” Holmes said. “Of course at Potter Street, we hope to have them done by next spring, but definitely by next summer.”

The pickle ball courts on Potter Street will also be a part of the Level Up after-school program.

“Pickle ball, most people would probably agree, it’s a little bit easier to learn and pick up than tennis,” Holmes said. “So that allows an opportunity to expose kids to the sport of pickle ball, and the ones that show the skill level, we can advance them into tennis. But if nothing else, the kids have more opportunities to recreate with pickle ball.”

In addition, Mark Gonzales, the current Director of Racquets, is planning on offering pickle ball camps, and potentially developing pickle ball leagues and hosting tournaments.

“I’m excited that we have the opportunity to grow the sport of pickle ball in our community,” Holmes concluded.

For more information, Mark Gonzales can be reached at the Bill Reynolds Tennis Center, at 229-248-2020.