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After years of anticipation, tennis/pickleball courts set to open Friday

by | May 28, 2024 | Featured: News, News

Pickleball courts

The new pickleball courts are located on the access road to the Fruit Street athletic fields. PHOTO/JERRY SPAR

The Parks & Recreation Department will host a grand opening celebration for its highly anticipated tennis/pickleball courts this Friday (May 31) at 3 p.m.

Located at 17 Pratt Way, off Fruit Street and across from the dog park, there are four courts dedicated exclusively for pickleball use. The two tennis courts are configured so they can be converted to pickleball courts.

The event will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony, food, drinks and music. In addition to Parks & Rec Department staff, Parks & Recreation Commission and Community Preservation Committee (CPC) members will be on hand to answer questions and talk about the project.

“Parks & Recreation is very excited to open the new courts, which were funded by CPC,” Parks & Rec Director Jon Lewitus shared via email. “For this summer, all courts will be open first come, first served seven days a week. Starting in the fall, we will be implementing instructional programs, potential tournaments and potential court reservations, and open play times as well. Throughout the summer, we will be surveying the users of the courts to get feedback on what types of programs they would like, and also feedback on court scheduling.”

He added that all information can be found at this website link.

“I’m excited that this project is completed and will be enjoyed by a large cross section of residents,” shared commission chair Dan Terry. “The project started with a common idea that came from several members of the community.”

He expressed appreciation for the involvement of multiple town departments to bring this project to fruition.

“Getting these courts built required teamwork across several committees and town department heads,” Terry continued. “Our prior Parks & Rec director [Jay Guelfi] worked with the commission to design the project and seek funding through CPC. The town’s Engineering Department and procurement leadership were instrumental in preparing for the construction phase. Jon [Lewitus], our Parks & Recreation director, and his staff did a great job of keeping the project on time and within budget.”

Added Parks & Recreation Commission vice chair Laura Hanson: “We have been working hard to provide the community with great facilities at Fruit Street, and this will be a welcome addition to the property. We know the community has been avidly looking forward to this addition as well.”

Money was appropriated by the Community Preservation Committee after approval at the 2022 Annual Town Meeting. The estimated cost in 2023 for the project was $743,000.

The project had faced delays over the past several months but managed to be completed by the anticipated date of May 15. Last year, test pit construction of the site’s bioswales was held up because of the Boston Marathon.

Regulations regarding the use of the courts will be discussed at the Parks & Recreation Commission meeting this Wednesday, two days before the grand opening.

Pickleball has been rising in popularity over the past few years. According to thepickleballplayer.com, it was deemed the fastest-growing sport in the United States in 2022, with 8.9 million players.

1 Comment

  1. Daniel Staring

    Please keep at least two courts as tennis. There is lack of public tennis courts in Hopkinton. Glad pickleball players have courts as well. Another great place to fix up courts would be Reed Park. Ashame they are not maintained.

    Reply

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