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Club has funds for Garfield transition

Tennis courts set to be transformed for pickleball use

The Blair County Pickleball Club appears to have raised enough money to transform a pair of tennis courts at Garfield Park into permanent courts for pickleball.

The club has collected $40,000 — $15,000 more than a goal it expressed in March — and is looking for a contractor to do the work, according to a club member and Mike Hofer, executive director of the Central Blair Recreation and Park Commission.

“I think we’re all pretty confident that come next summer, we should have six pickleball courts at Garfield,” Hofer said at a meeting Thursday. “(They are likely) to be used daily and quite a bit through the day.”

Club members already use the courts for pickleball, with the help of four sets of lines they painted on the tennis courts and temporary nets they erect when they play and remove afterwards.

The proposed project would add two more courts and enable the club to hold tournaments, members have said.

It would include resurfacing, the setting of standards, installation of a center fence and the painting of lines to create three courts on each side of the fence.

It will also require removing nearby trees “that would (otherwise) cause problems down the road,” Hofer said.

The facility will remain city property, and the commission will continue to manage it, Hofer said.

After the project, it will be open to the public,

Hofer said.

“It’s an improvement for everybody to use,” he said.

It’s not certain whether the club or the commission will administer the contract for the improvements, which are likely to begin in the spring, Hofer said.

The commission agreed in May to allow the club to pursue the project, after it received no complaints from tennis players.

The facility is not used heavily for tennis, according to Hofer.

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