The process of improving the tennis courts at Gerrard Park will soon begin.
Construction crews are scheduled to start tearing down the existing courts on Monday, July 3rd, 2023, to prepare for the construction of four new dual-purpose courts for tennis and pickleball. The current tennis courts are a bit weathered and have been something members of the public have requested be upgraded over the years.
Pickleball is now considered the fastest-growing sport in America with a 40% increase in players since 2019, according to the New York Times, because it caters to people of all ages. It’s a paddleball sport that combines elements of tennis, table tennis and badminton.
Once crews are done tearing down the current courts, work will begin on getting the new ones installed a little northwest of that area. City officials are working with Confluence Consulting on improvement plans for Gerrard and Pawnee parks, having previously gotten public feedback through an open house to create a “Master Plan First Concepts” that was recently shared on social media. That tentative plan also calls for the construction of three additional pickleball-only courts, among other things. Those who want to see the tentative Master Plan and provide feedback can do so by clicking here.
City Public Property Director Doug Moore said the new tennis courts should be ready for use by the fall. The Gerrard project will be completed using funds from existing sales tax.
City Parks and Recreation Manager Betsy Eckhardt said the department is excited for the improvements at Gerrard, noting people are still encouraged to utilize it while the courts are being worked on.
“We want people to be aware because there is going to be a lot of activity happening,” she said.
Moore said those who want to play tennis or pickleball while construction is happening can do so at other parks within the city.