HANNIBAL — One of the major projects for Hannibal Parks & Recreation is poised to make a big impact at Huckleberry Park, as a complete renovation of the tennis/pickleball courts is showing steady progress.
Crews have been busy demolishing the old court surface, creating a new asphalt surface and installing new footing for nets. The revised layout will feature two tennis courts on the north side and six pickleball courts on the south side. Concrete work has also been completed for the nearby parking lot expansion.
Director of Central Services Andy Dorian explained the estimated cost for the project is $334,900. The renovation is expected to be complete around July 15. He explained how the expansive project was driven by a surging local demand for pickleball.
"The Park Board picked this as their big project of the year due to the ever-growing number of pickleball players," Dorian said. "This will give us one of the nicest courts in the region and hopefully a draw for local and out-of-town players."
Recreation Supervisor Jenna McDonald added that tournaments were being planned, but no dates had been set. She stressed how pickleball has a dedicated following in Hannibal, and the renovated facilities will provide great benefits.
Having additional facilities gives more opportunities to play. We have many avid pickleball players now, we’ve had pickleball here in Hannibal for nine years and it grows yearly," she said. "Our leagues are very popular and the level of play for some divisions is very advanced. But it’s also a sport that all shapes, sizes and ages enjoy."
Father and son team Charles Lopanec Jr. and Chas Lopanec, with Byrne and Jones Construction, were busy setting up footing for nets and fence posts on Tuesday. They pointed out how two new entrances will be constructed, one for the pickleball courts and one for the tennis courts.
Charles Lopanec Jr. said he and his son have answered questions and received words of encouragement from passersby who are eager to play on the new courts once the work is complete.
"This is definitely a highlight for the area, I would say," he said.
Near the courts, crews with D & L Excavating were performing groundwork as the parking lot expansion rapidly took shape.
In addition to the major renovation work underway at Huckleberry Park, Dorian explained that Hannibal Parks & Recreation has projects slated this year at Lover’s Leap, Kiwanis Park, Clemens Field and Sodalis Nature Preserve.
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