Pocket park almost ready to serve

T-R PHOTO BY JOE FISHER The pickleball pocket park between City Hall and the Veterans Memorial Coliseum is nearly ready for play. The concrete has been poured for the court, which is receded back toward the alley. All that remains is putting up nets and fencing it off.

Marshalltown’s legion of avid pickleball players will have a new place to chop and drive soon.

The pickleball pocket park between City Hall and the Veterans Memorial Coliseum is nearing completion. By the end of October, it should be ready for players to hit the court, according to Parks and Recreation Director Geoff Hubbard. Pillar Inc. started construction near the end of June.

The concrete for the court has already been laid. The last things needed are the pickleball net and a fence around the court.

Construction of the park cost about $160,000 and was paid for with road-use tax and capital improvement plan funds.

The court was built to make good use of space created when the annex on City Hall was torn down. Hubbard said there had been conversation about finding a place downtown for pickleball court.

“It’s a great place to have it next to the coliseum,” Hubbard said. “We needed to do some work that way anyway. We had some drainage issues coming from the coliseum so we kind of killed two birds with one stone.”

The pocket park won’t just be a place to work on your forehand.

“It provides a nice little area for the community to stop and have lunch,” Hubbard said.

The pocket park will be surrounded with art, which is becoming more of a signature of the constantly evolving downtown area. The YSS building recently had a mural added and poetry has been painted on the concrete north of the park inspired by the community’s resolve after the 2018 tornado.

It also expands the options for pickleball players. The only places to play right now are the Marshalltown High School Tennis Complex and the YMCA.

Along with the pocket park, players will also be able to use the coliseum to play during open gym on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

Most pickleball players bring their own equipment but for those who don’t have paddles, they will be available to rent from the parks and rec department.

Hubbard said pickleball is an extremely popular sport in Marshalltown with a lot of people playing regularly.

“I would say there’s a huge population of them,” Hubbard said. “If you drive by the courts in the morning on a nice day they’ll all be in use. When this court is built you’ll see a lot of use throughout the day.”

The pocket park will be especially useful because it will be in a shady area during the hot summer months, according to Hubbard. Then in the winter, players can move inside to the coliseum and pick up right where they left off.

To stay up to date on the pickleball pocket park and when it is ready for use, visit the Parks and Recreation Department’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MarshalltownParksandRecreation.


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