The preliminary Master Plan includes the addition of pickleball courts near the Williams Tennis Campus. Lakeside was first introduced to pickleball five years ago when we lined the first pickleball court in Central Park.
Since then, interest continued to grow and the number of adult
s, teens and children who play has increased.
Additional asphalt courts were lined in Perry Park and the Williams Tennis Campus. Multiple generations gathered daily to play and new programs were formed as a result. This past summer, a formal pickleball program was implemented, including round robin play, a weekly introduction to pickleball class and formal pickleball tournaments. These programs used the two asphalt tennis courts at the Williams Tennis Campus.
The growth in the sport this summer caused many conflicts over playing time between tennis and pickleball on the asphalt courts. At times, there were more than 25 people waiting to play on the four pickleball courts, which were already filled with players. This demonstrated the need for dedicated pickleball courts.
Lakeside pickleball lovers began to investigate the possibility of building pickleball courts near the Williams Tennis Campus. The Board named a Pickleball Taskforce to investigate building the courts.
The Pickleball Taskforce included: Mike Bettencourt; Doug Bohl; Jeff Chaney; Jeff DePerro; Eric Fudo; Dick Hubbard; Tom Jones; Kim Miraldi; Margie Shade; Mike Swallow; Liz Williams; Randy Snow, Lakeside Chautauqua Board Chair; Bill Drackett, Lakeside Chautauqua Foundation Chair; Kevin Sibbring, Lakeside Chautauqua President/CEO; Dan Dudley, Lakeside Chautauqua CFO/COO; and Gretchen Colon, Senior V.P. of Advancement & Communications.
As the taskforce investigated building the courts, members of the Lakeside community, who were pickleball enthusiasts, began to raise funds with the assistance of the Lakeside Chautauqua Foundation. As the plan came together, it was clear that the building of the courts could be 100% funded with the committed donations, independent of the Lakeside budget.
At the November Board meeting, the plan was presented and the Board approved moving forward with building the dedicated pickleball courts south of the Williams Tennis Campus. Eight courts will be built in this space along with a central gathering area for socialization. There is still room on the site for possible future expansion, if demand continues to grow
The plan for building the eight courts attempts to preserve green space and as many of the larger trees as possible. In general, the plan calls for green space to remain along the fence line to the South and along the walking path to the North, and the Southeast corner of the site next to Plum Avenue will remain relatively undisturbed.
The project will begin in December
, and courts will be completed by next summer. This is a great opportunity for Lakeside to expand its recreational options with funding coming through generous donors.