Falmouth, Massachusetts, Budgeting to Convert Aging Tennis Courts to Pickleball

A plan to renovate existing tennis courts and a basketball court at Lawrence School has the support of the Falmouth School Committee.

Committee members voted January 8 to endorse plans by the town’s recreation department to use $350,000 in Community Preservation Act funds to rehabilitate two tennis courts and a basketball court at the school on Lakeview Avenue. School Committee Chairman Terri Medeiros abstained from the vote.

Photos presented to the school committee showed the aging concrete courts with grass growing up through cracks in the pavement. Plans are to redesign the two tennis courts with additional line striping to make them usable for pickleball, a sport that continues to grow in popularity.

The basketball court, meanwhile, will also be repaved and modified to make room for a stand-alone pickleball court at one end.

Falmouth Recreation Director Joe Olenick said the Gus Canty Community Center currently has six indoor courts for pickleball. Games are played at the center gym five days a week, and Olenick said the outdoor courts will relieve the indoor facilities of some of that demand.

“It’s going to be awesome,” he said of the new courts. “As we know, pickleball has taken over.”

Falmouth High School Athletic Director Kathleen Burke said that new concrete planned for the courts is expected to hold up for 30 years.

Recreation and school officials still need to work out details as to when the courts can be used by the public when school is in session. But Lawrence School Principal Tom Bushy spoke in support of the project. In addition to use by physical education classes, he said engineering and other academic classes could also use the courts for projects such as solar car races.

“The school is totally in support of this,” Bushy said.

Two Lawrence School students also spoke in favor of the project January 8.

The town’s community preservation committee in November recommended that Town Meeting approve funding for the courts in April. If approved this spring, work on the courts could be done by the end of the summer, Olenick said.

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