Pickleball Will Soon Be Played At Schultz Park Thanks To City Of Douglas Support
Local pickleball players have a lot to be excited about.
City of Douglas officials announced Monday they are moving forward with the $70,000 construction of eight pickleball courts at Schultz Park.
“The courts we are looking to construct will last long (30 years),” said Douglas City Manager Bill LeFevere during the Douglas City Council meeting about the high-grade base to be used for the foundation of eight courts.
“If you don’t do it right then you end up with what you had with tennis courts—they crumbled,” LeFevere, added.
Those tennis courts at Schultz Park were torn down two years ago and the pickleball courts will take their place.
“You all need to come out and play,” a grateful Lynn Zavislak told Douglas council following the announcement.
Zavislak is part of a local group whose membership has grown rapidly since last spring, going from about two dozen to more than 70 individuals.
The group has been playing at Saugatuck’s downtown tennis courts, serving as makeshift pickleball courts, but they are not the right size and not the right nets. More courts and proper fields are needed, said organizers.
The construction of the Schultz Park courts is expected to be completed by the middle of this month (May), and court markings to be painted on two weeks later.
The project was made possible thanks to a combination of private and public funding.
Organizers of the group and life-partners Stephen Lewis and Walt Lawrence committed to a $20,000 donation since last year and said they would donate another $5,000 if both the City of Douglas and the Saugatuck Public Schools Community Recreation (a program run by Saugatuck Public Schools and and supported by a dedicated millage paid by the electorate) would match their $25,000.
Community Recreation reported it was limited to a $15,000 donation. However, Douglas City Manager Bill LeFevere said the city would contribute up to $30,000 drawing from the Wade’s Bayou fund account.
The building of eight courts at Schultz Park will open the doors to many opportunities: more players will be able play and it will give the City of Douglas the capacity to host tournaments, thereby drawing more visitors to the area.
Zavislak and other pickleball group organizers have been talking about tournaments since last year when the Shultz Park project was first proposed. They said they are thrilled because it would really promote the sport.