It’s Westbrook, Connecticut’s Turn for Pickleball

Westbrook is preparing to move ahead with pickleball courts on the former site of town tennis courts.  Westbrook pickleball enthusiasts will soon have their own courts, thanks to a $40,000 grant from the Westbrook Foundation and to residents who attended a Board of Selectmen (BOS) meeting in late March and gave the project the thumbs up.

Two pickleball courts will be constructed on the former site of tennis courts on town property on Trolley Road Extension between Fiske and Magna lanes. Hinding Tennis, the company that constructed the Old Saybrook pickleball courts, will install them.

Westbrook Parks & Recreation Director Rich Annino said that construction of the courts should begin in May or June. He expects the courts to be ready for use by the end of June. Residents who would like to use them will need to purchase their own equipment.

The courts will not be lighted.

“It’s a residential area,” Annino said. “We don’t want people playing late at night.”

According to Annino, the courts will be similar to those in Old Saybrook, and will also have a post-tensioned concrete base. Parks & Rec might choose different colors, Annino said. He is not yet certain whether the nets will remain up all year, as are those on the high school tennis courts. Residents use the high school tennis courts even during warmer days in the winter, he explained.

“We’ll probably keep [the nets] up as long as the courts don’t get vandalized or damaged,” he said.

The addition of a small picnic area will allow families to enjoy the park while some members of the family play pickleball.

“Once we get up and running, Parks & Rec will probably hire somebody and have available classes or lessons people can take if they wish,” Annino said.

At its March 28 meeting, the BOS approved the project for not more than $45,000, the amount of Hinding’s bid. However, according to Annino, the scope of Hinding’s contract has been reduced and Westbrook’s Department of Public Works (DPW) will take on some of the work and costs.

“We’ll be doing some of the prep work ourselves and some of the fencing,” Annino said.

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