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City expected to award pickleball court contract after bids opened

A Baton Rouge, La., contractor is the apparent bidder to build eight pickleball courts at Halls Ferry Park.

The $253,676 bid from Quality Court Industries of Baton Rouge to build the courts was the lowest of four bids submitted Friday for the project, which was rebid after the initial bids for the project in September came in over the $278,000 budget for the project. The project was also changed to help reduce its cost.

“It (the bids) came in under budget just like I thought they would,” said South Ward Aldermen Alex Monsour, who is over the city’s recreation program. “We will pick one. They’re close in range; we just want to pick someone who knows what they’re doing.” He did not say when a bid will be awarded.

All of the bids submitted for the redesigned complex were under the budget. Other contractors submitting bids were Construction Specialists of Jackson, $283774; Central Asphalt of Vicksburg, $268,234; and Hemphill Construction, Florence, $266,849.

The bids were taken under advisement and reviewed by city officials and Nee-Schaffer, the project engineer.

Pickleball is a game played with a paddle and a plastic ball with holes that employs the elements of tennis, Ping-Pong and badminton that is played both indoors or outdoors on a badminton-sized court and 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 are lined off using tape.

But the tape used to line off the courts was damaging the tennis courts and threatening the potential to host the U.S. Tennis Association-sanctioned tennis tournaments at the tennis complex, Monsour said in September.

City officials initially planned to build the pickleball courts adjacent to the tennis complex but problems with the proposed site forced the courts’ relocation to the ladies’ softball field at Halls Ferry.

Monsour said the field was a natural site and the city would be able to build courts specifically for pickleball and players will have access to a restroom that will be remodeled as part of the development.

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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