Pickleball art

The Discovery Bay Community Services District (CSD) Board voted to apply for grant money to convert two of the community center’s tennis courts into six pickleball courts.

The unanimous vote came Wednesday, Feb. 5, at the regular CSD meeting, after a request from recreation programs supervisor Monica Gallo to authorize town staff to apply for $68,804 in Measure WW funds.

“As discussed at a previous parks and rec committee meeting, we’d like to take Courts 3 and 4, which are unusable at this time, and convert them into six pickleball courts,” Gallo told the board.

In addition to the grant monies, the town’s pickleball players have banded together and raised approximately $30,000 in funds over the past two years to contribute to the project. They created a nonprofit, Discovery Bay Recreation and Sports Inc. (DBRSI) to protect their funds.

Randi Laforge, DBRSI president, said hopes are high that bids will come in under $100,000.

“We’re hoping that ninety-something thousand will cover the cost of the renovation,” said Laforge.

She further noted the club isn’t done yet; they will host a tournament at the end of May and will continue fundraising efforts until the project is complete and ongoing maintenance costs are covered.

“The pickleball people really stepped up,” CSD Director Robert Leete said at the meeting. “We challenged them two years ago to see if they would be willing to partner with us and help us out, and they have done an admirable job and made a generous contribution to the effort, and I look forward to seeing a lot of pickleball being played.”

Laforge and the town’s other pickleball players had originally hoped to gain more pickleball courts at Cornell Park, where one tennis court was converted into two pickleball courts several years ago. However, available space and convenience led the town to conclude that pickleball had a future at the community center, and the pickleball players were willing to move their weekly games from Cornell Park to gain more courts.

“We are making progress; we are hopeful,” Laforge said. “We hope that everything will come together and we will have six more pickleball courts.”

Measure WW is an East Bay Regional Parks local grant program established to address local park and recreation needs. The town has used funds from this source in the past to purchase the community center and to replace the play structure at Cornell Park.