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Construction bids opened for pickleball court complex

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Thursday got a good look at the potential cost of building pickleball courts at Halls Ferry Park.

Five companies submitted bids for the project at the board’s meeting Thursday; all more than the $290,000 in capital improvements bond money set aside for the project.

Submitting bids were Construction Specialists of Jackson, total bid $359,717; Hellas Construction of Spring, Texas, total bid $595,000; Central Asphalt of Vicksburg, total bid $411,730; Quality Court Industries of Baton Rouge, La., total bid $401,580; and Hemphill Construction, Florence, $373,300. The bids were taken under advisement.

Pickleball is a game played with a paddle and a plastic ball with holes that employs the elements of tennis, Ping-Pong and badminton that is played both indoors or outdoors on a badminton-sized court and a slightly modified tennis net.

The sport has become popular with many residents, who play at several local gymnasiums and on the Halls Ferry tennis courts, where the pickleball courts are lined off using tape.

But the tape used to line off the courts was damaging the tennis courts, South Ward Alderman Alex Monsour said, emphasizing the need for building the new courts.

City officials initially planned to build the pickleball courts at Halls Ferry Park, but problems with the proposed site forced the courts’ relocation to the ladies’ softball field at Halls Ferry.

Monsour said at the time the ball field was a natural site and the city would be able to build courts specifically for pickleball and players will have access to a restroom that will be remodeled as part of the development.

“It came down to economic feasibility,” Monsour said at the time. “They (players) will have their own parking and their own restrooms.”

Also, he said, the location would provide a site for tournaments and room to expand the courts.

“We’re going to make that facility to where it is one of the finest in the state,” Monsour said later. “You’ll have pickleball — we’re getting the seniors where they can play — we’ve got a tennis facility where anyone in Vicksburg can come and play.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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