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Newly-constructed pickleball courts reopen at Patriarche Park

Patriarche Park Pickleball Courts
Posted at 6:00 AM, Jun 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-15 10:09:19-04

EAST LANSING, Mich. — After over a year over construction, the pickleball courts at Patriarche Park in East Lansing are finally open.

In September 2021, we introduced you to pickleball in East Lansing when the courts were cracked and full of dead spots. That's when the East Lansing Patriache Park Pickleball Association decided to start a fundraiser on Patronicity to raise money for the costs of building new ones.

“It's kind of a culmination of three and a half, four years of work put in by the city and by our nonprofit and by the state and a lot a lot of our pickleball players here behind us helped out,” said East Lansing Patriache Park Pickleball Association President Gary Beaudoin.

Nielson contractors estimated the cost for improvements to be around $896,000. The association raised over $160,000, and that, combined with a $300,000 National Resources Trust Fund grant, $200,000 from the income tax fund and $150,000 from the parks and recreation income tax fund, brought the total amount raised to $960,000, enough to cover the cost and then some.

Now, there's 10 brand new pickleball courts, some of which used to be tennis courts, along with a new tennis court and basketball court.

“There’s a saying, make tennis courts great again," said East Lansing Patriarche Park Pickleball Association Secretary Rick Coy.

The project brought some much needed upgrades to the courts, most noticeably getting rid of the cracks and new fencing.

“Each individual court is fenced in because there's always a problem with stray balls going on other people's courts, and it's a safety hazard,” Coy said.

“People come up and say 'oh my game is so much quicker. I didn't get interrupted by balls. I didn't have to stop three more times,'" said the association's Vice President Berniece Peltier. "We love the courts. We love playing, so I think the fences have made a big difference for a lot of people.”

While the courts are complete, there's still some work to be done in the future like adding a shaded area for people to sit and buying tools to clean the courts.

“We're still working because there's some things we weren't able to get," Beaudoin said. "We hope to be able to continue to raise money and add to the features here in the future."

In the meantime, they were ready to get the courts back open again.

“This will be a great time," Beaudoin said. "People are excited to be here enjoying the new courts.”

The courts have been reopened, and the association's members say it's a fun space for all ages. It's also a good way to get exercise and to meet new friends.

“Many people that play here will tell you that they make so many new friends," Beaudoin said. "A lot of people when you get to be 65 and you retire, your friends, you've had your whole life. This this actually opens up a whole new avenue for people to have friends.”

And, of course, a little competition.

“There was an eighth grader out here yesterday that could definitely beat me," Peltier said. "Nice kid, loved to play.”

You can sign up for pickleball lessons through the Hannah Community Center when spots open up. Right now, there's a wait list, however, spots do open up.

The pickleball association along with grant donors and city officials will be holding a ribbon cutting ceremony for the courts Thursday at 2 p.m.

There will be refreshments and pickleball games on the court.

To keep up with game play at Patriache Park, check out the pickleball Facebook page.

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Mikayla Temple

Mikayla Temple

1:39 PM, Jan 05, 2021

Your Neighborhood Reporter

Mikayla Temple

FOX 47 News Neighborhood Newsletter