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City moves ahead with plans to construct pickleball courts

Vicksburg’s pickleball enthusiasts are one step closer to getting their own courts.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday authorized City Clerk Walter Osborne to advertise for bids to build the eight pickleball courts on the site of the former ladies’ softball field off the entrance to Halls Ferry Park near Fire Station No. 8.

“It (the courts) will be the first thing you see when you come into the park; it’s going to be a very fine facility,” said South Ward Alderman Alex Monsour, who is over city recreation and has pushed to get the courts built.

He said recreation department employees will begin modifying, remodeling and air-conditioning the restroom at the site, and remodel the concession stand in preparation for the courts.

“We’re going to make that facility to where it is one of the finest in the state,” Monsour said. “You’ll have pickleball — we’re getting the seniors where they can play — we’ve got a tennis facility where anyone in Vicksburg can come and play.

“We’re going to make this a place where somebody who wants to play anything can play it. We want them in Vicksburg and we’re going to build a facility for that,” he said.

Pickleball is a game played with a paddle and a plastic ball with holes that employs the elements of tennis, Ping Pong and badminton. It is played both indoors and outdoors on a badminton-sized court with a slightly modified tennis net.

The sport has become popular with many residents, who play at several local gymnasiums and on the Halls Ferry tennis courts, where the pickleball courts were lined off using tape.

But the tape was damaging the tennis courts, emphasizing the need for building the new pickleball-only courts. The courts were initially planned to be on the east side of the tennis courts but were relocated because of problems at the proposed site.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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