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Construction on new SLO pickleball courts will begin soon

Pickleball fanatics in San Luis Obispo will soon have a place to call their own.

Construction is set to begin on three planned new pickleball courts at French Park after the City Council approved a bid to contract with Wright Construction Engineering, according to city officials.

The cost for the work will be $138,790 to convert the current basketball court there into three dedicated pickleball courts, the city wrote in a statement.

The sand volleyball court at the park, located off Tank Farm Road at 1040 Fuller Road, will be converted into a 72-foot-by-40-foot basketball area.

Pickleball — a paddle sport sometimes described as a combination of a cross between ping pong, tennis and badminton — has taken off as a popular activity for seniors as well as growing numbers of younger people, according to sport enthusiasts.

The new courts will allow players, including from the growing SLO Pickleball Club, to play all day and for the club to host tournaments.

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Pickleballers take to the courts at E A French Park in San Luis Obispo, where three new Pickleball courts will be going in. They will be first permanent courts in the city where there is a high demand to play. Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

“Every day that we play, we have 20 people standing around just waiting to play,” said Brian O’Kelly, president of the nonprofit club, in a previous Tribune article. “These new courts are definitely needed and will help us provide more opportunities for players young and old.”

Once built, the courts will be used on a turn-based system, unless reserved by a permit, similar to tennis court reservations.

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Pickleballers take to the courts at E A French Park in San Luis Obispo, where three new Pickleball courts will be going in. They will be first permanent courts in the city where there is a high demand to play. Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

SLO’s staff reviewed possible locations for permanent pickleball courts around the city.

French Park, which shares space with other activities for temporary pickleball courts, was identified by city staff as the best location due to the underutilized volleyball court, officials said.

No bids were received in the first round of requests, and after some additional advertising and outreach to local contractors, the city received two bids, the lowest of them awarded to Wright.

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Nick Wilson covers the city of San Luis Obispo and has been a reporter at The Tribune in San Luis Obispo since 2004. He also writes regularly about K-12 education, Cal Poly, Morro Bay and Los Osos. He is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and UC Berkeley and is originally from Ojai.
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