From 2 to 12: the number of public pickleball courts in Taylorsville will sextuple in 2023Feb 06, 2023 02:07PM ● By Carl Fauver
With a near $1 million county grant in hand, Taylorsville will break ground on 10 new pickleball courts in 2023. The first four new courts are to be built here on the south side of the Taylorsville Senior Center, after more parking spaces are created nearby. (Carl Fauver/City Journals)
Such a fun word: “sextuple.” At first blush, it sounds a little, well, “blushworthy” – risqué. But it’s just what comes next after: double, triple, quadruple and quintuple. When you double 2, you get 4. But when you sextuple it – 2 becomes 12. And that’s what Taylorsville officials are promising will be the case at the end of 2023, when you drive around counting public pickleball courts throughout the city.
Ten new courts are expected to join the two the city has now in Millrace Park. That’s ten new pickleball courts, in three new locations – complete with fences around them, benches near them, nets in the middle of them and lights over them – in 11 months. The construction race is on to accommodate local players of America’s fastest-growing participation sport.
One relatively new pickleball player in Taylorsville is City Councilwoman Meredith Harker. She’s also the council’s liaison to the city’s volunteer Parks & Recreation Committee.
“I began playing pickleball about two years ago because it is such a fun sport,” Harker said. “Anyone, any age can play – if they can find an open court. I try to go play on the Murray courts. But they are always full, packed. Our Parks & Rec Committee first came up with the idea of getting more pickleball courts in Taylorsville a couple of years ago. But I honestly never thought the county would fund our entire ($960,000) grant request. We’re thrilled.”
Mayor Kristie Overson is a voting member of the County’s Tourism, Recreation, Culture & Convention Board. She was also a bit stunned the board agreed to fund the entire request.
“I thought we might get funding for four pickleball courts – but probably not all ten,” Overson said. “We are so grateful the TRCC Board supported us. The city now must match the county’s grant. And that ($1.92-million combined total) should be plenty of money to construct the courts, put fences around them, lights over them – make them very nice. We’ll definitely break ground on all ten courts this year – and should be able to complete them all.”
City officials want the first four pickleball courts to be completed in what is now a parking lot south of the Taylorsville Senior Center (4743 S. 1570 West). Another four courts will be constructed in what is now being referred to as Tank Park, a 16-acre open space adjacent to the two water tanks on the northwest corner of 6200 S. 3200 West. The final new pickleball courts are to go in near the children’s playground area at Vista Park.
The commitment to construct four of the courts in Tank Park is also very significant because until now the talk for those 16 open acres had been described more by city officials as a “hope” or “dream” of a new park.
“Tank Park is going to be a reality – I am confident saying that,” said City Administrator John Taylor. “These four pickleball courts will be the first features to go in there. But the rest of the park will follow (as funding becomes available) because nothing else can be done with that land (situated atop a covered landfill, where home or commercial building construction is prohibited).”
Nearly a year ago, on Feb. 16, 2022, the organization USA Pickleball reported there were already more than 4.8 million pickleball players nationwide. That represented a growth of 39.3% over the previous two years. According to a Sports & Fitness Industry Association participation report released at the time, that officially made pickleball America’s fastest-growing participation sport for the second consecutive year.
“We’ve had this goal to increase our number of pickleball courts, really, since the height of the pandemic,” Harker concluded. “But I never thought it was realistic to get the funding for all ten of them at once.”
City officials seem to have thought doubling or tripling the number of Taylorsville pickleball courts was more realistic. But sextupling it is.
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