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More pickleball courts officially coming to Legacy Park

Lethbridge will soon be adding six more pickleball courts to accommodate the growing demand of the popular sport.

Lethbridge City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to amend the 2022-2031 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) D-30 Legacy Park Pickleball Courts scope to build the six new courts within the previously-approved budget, but also to revise several features with the project to keep costs down.

The revisions will include Plexipave coating and windscreens (on new courts), as well as a concrete walkway to the new courts. The revisions will remove the options of adding wind mitigation, alternative surfacing, a viewing area, and benches to the existing courts.

Contracts should now be finalized this month and construction could begin by June, with August as the target to open the new courts to the public.

“We are pleased to be moving ahead with this project in a financially-prudent manner,” says Mayor Blaine Hyggen. “On behalf of Lethbridge City Council, I want to thank our Administration for coming up with a creative solution and re-scoping of this project in order for it to proceed.”

In late 2022, City Administration received construction bids for the new pickleball courts, but the highest evaluated bid was over budget. Material prices have risen significantly since the approval of the CIP, which are contributing to the higher costs for construction projects. Administration then proposed a CIP amendment to the Economic SPC on January 18, 2023, for an additional $300,000 to deliver the project as intended. The additional $300,000 was not approved, so Administration reduced the scope of the project, by changing some of the deliverables to optional pricing items and went back to market for construction bids.

“We been working very closely with the Lethbridge Pickleball Club to properly scope this project so it meets their needs in a fiscally-responsible manner,” says Robin Harper, General Manager of Recreation and Culture. “Careful financial considerations have been evaluated to ensure this project is focusing on the needs, while the key optional items will still provide significant value to the playability of the courts. This project creates additional space and functional improvements to play pickleball and to eventually host large events and tournaments at Legacy Park.”

There will be no additional work completed on the existing courts as part of this project.

Before deciding to move ahead with the original idea of constructing six new courts, to the north of the existing courts, it was decided to explore the possibility of repurposing the adjacent two tennis courts to pickleball courts, as an opportunity to utilize existing infrastructure and reduce capital expenses. The community was engaged by placing a survey on the Get Involved Lethbridge webpage from November to December 2021 and received 601 engaged participant responses.

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