Say goodbye to the old tennis courts at Gerrard Park.
After the recent completion of an online community survey that had more than 100 participants, the Parks and Recreation Department is proceeding with a plan to construct new tennis, pickleball and basketball courts to replace the current tennis courts at Gerrard. It will be done using funds from existing sales tax.
“After the contractor completed the initial layout, it was discovered the new courts couldn’t be constructed over the old courts and that the old courts would need to be removed,” City Public Property Director Doug Moore said. “This offered the City an opportunity to look at other options.”
The online survey that was shared publicly earlier this month gave people the chance to vote on multiple options for the courts and potentially move them to another park. But the results showed that the majority favored keeping them at Gerrard and including a full-size basketball court in the plan.
The 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.
Complementing the baseball/softball fields and tennis courts with a full-size space for basketball and pickleball courts will really add value to Gerrard, City officials noted.
“I’m glad it’s staying at Gerrard Park,” Parks and Recreation Manager Betsy Eckhardt said. “It’s certainly a good option.”
The City will move the courts west from their current location to open space up between the three north baseball fields and the three south baseball fields for possible future amenities associated with the baseball/softball complex. The old tennis courts will be removed.
City officials are currently working with Confluence Consulting on plans for Gerrard Park. Moore said Confluence will be seeking input in the next few months from residents and interested organizations on possible improvements at Gerrard Park, Memorial Stadium and Pawnee Park.
Work at Gerrard won’t commence until after the spring tennis season, Eckhardt noted, but officials are planning for it to be full steam ahead from there.
“We’re hoping to be done by the end of summer, the beginning of fall,’ Eckhardt said.