LIHU‘E — The county Department of Parks &Recreation opened the county’s first dedicated pickleball courts at Anne Knudsen Park in Koloa on May 1 — one of five major court resurfacing projects on the docket.
An opening blessing for the project, which also included a resurfacing of the park’s tennis and basketball courts, will be held on May 16.
“The courts are already being used heavily by the pickleball community,” said Parks &Recreation Director Pat Porter. “There was a line of pickleballers there when we opened the gate.”
Porter laid out the department’s plans to implement an “island-wide court resurfacing program,” before a Kaua‘i County Council committee meeting on Wednesday.
Under this plan, the department would resurface courts at about two parks each year, until they have redone all 30 courts under county jurisdiction.
Next up are the tennis and basketball courts at the Mayor Bryan J. Baptiste Sports Complex in Kapa‘a, Puhi Park, Wailua Homesteads Park and Wailua Houselots Park, all of which are in rough condition.
“When we say ‘resurfacing,’ we’re really talking about a full rebuild,” said Porter. “With the condition of a lot of our courts, they really need to be rebuilt from the ground up.”
Court resurfacing isn’t cheap. The complete cost for the Knudsen court project was just under $1 million, including a $200,000 design contract.
Resident Alice Parker testified at Wednesday’s meeting that county courts are in “desperate need” of resurfacing.
“I mean, we’re going to rot in place if we can’t get out and move around,” she said.
Porter also announced that the department plans to install three miniature restrooms at parks throughout the island, including replacements for two destroyed in bizarre accidents.
One project would replace a restroom at Lucy Wright Park in Waimea, which was destroyed when a car plowed into the restroom. Another is for the Hanapepe Town Park, which was irreparably scorched in a vandalism incident. The park is located directly next to the Hanepepe fire station. The third will replace a restroom at Lihu‘e Baseball Field.
“These three came up on short notice,” said Porter. “We’re trying to replace them as soon as possible.”
The county will likely use the Portland Loo brand restrooms — small, simple, one- or two-toilet, stainless steel structures — which will hopefully prove more resistant to fires and vehicles.
Council Parks &Recreation Committee Chair Addison Bulosan emphasized the importance of community involvement in parks projects. “I really encourage you to share your input on what things need to be taken care of, or redone, or supported,” he said.
Guthrie Scrimgeour, reporter, can be reached at 808-647-0329 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: The Garden Island
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