West Park in Adrian considered as possible location for pickleball courts
ADRIAN – It is possible that by the end of the year, newly installed pickleball courts will be open to Adrian in a park that is currently underused and less well known than some of Adrian’s other parks.
The popular park to house Adrian’s pickleball courts is West Park, which is bordered by Merrick, Rice and South McKenzie streets and Michigan Avenue, just up McKenzie from Riverside Park. The courts themselves, according to Jeremiah Davies, director of parks and recreation for Adrian, would be located in the northwest corner of the park, near the area of South McKenzie Street and Michigan Avenue.
Davies presented a proposal for the picket grounds to Adrian’s town commission during the pre-meeting study session on Tuesday. The plan for building the courts at West Park appears to be generally favorable among the commission. There has also been positive support from residents regarding the installation of courts in the park. The proposal comes with support from Davies, who said when the location was first suggested to him, he encountered it with mixed reviews and was hesitant to pursue the suggestion.
“But, after having continual conversations with people, my eyes opened and the creative juices started flowing,” he said. “…The possibilities (at the park) are endless.”
Davies called West Park a “desirable location” for pickleball courts, but warned the commission that the project is specialized work and could encounter obstacles in the winter and spring.
“(West Park) is a park that is usually not used at all,” he said.
The proposal suggests the creation of six pickleball courts surrounded by fences at a cost of $118,000.
To begin any installation of courts, the commission will have to approve the project and solicit bids. It is likely that the project will be added to the agenda of the July 18 regular meeting of the commission. Davies said construction of the courts would take place in two phases. Phase 1 would be the installation of the courts. Phase 1A would be the installation of public toilets in the park, then the promotion of the courts not only for quiet playing time, but also the possibility of organizing tournaments and competitive matches. Storm drainage and connection of running water to the park would be part of phase 1A.
Phase 2, meanwhile, is a future, long-term investment, Davies said, and it’s not necessarily at the forefront of the project. This phase, he said, would consist of adding parking or corner parking spaces along the northeast side of the park as well as additional recreation offerings on the south side of the park. Such suggestions he made during the preliminary meeting included basketball courts, sand volleyball courts, or playground structures. Investigations and conversations with the community about what would be best for the south side of the park will continue over the coming months, he said.
The key, Davies said, is to prepare the ground and have the courts set up at least by the end of the year. Pickleball courts, he said, use a very specific style of asphalt and groundwork. The construction of the courts is highly dependent on weather conditions and the city may be limited as to when they can be installed.
The rules of pickleball are simple. Players bring their own balls and paddles, and people can play singles or doubles. The court itself is similar to badminton, with a net similar to tennis. The paddles are similar to those used to play table tennis.
In the spring of 2021, the commission moved forward with plans to install six pickleball courts at Riverside Park, but during the engineering and planning stages it was learned that Riverside was actually not the best option for the courts. . Heritage Park was also a possible location for the courts, but at present it seems that West Park is the preferred location.