Pickleheads trying to fund major upgrades

$140,000 project would add courts, washroom at Henry Singer

The Parkland Pickleheads are looking to expand their facilities.

At its last meeting, Spruce Grove city council heard a pitch to help fund $140,000 worth of work done by the pickleball club.

The money would add a water line at Henry Singer Park, which would make it easier to clean off the courts.

Currently, the courts are washed every three weeks using equipment and water that the club brings in from off site.

The project would also convert a pump house into a bathroom facility, and refurbish some old courts, while adding two more

That would bring the total number of courts at Henry Singer Park up from 18 to 20.

Pickleheads President Garand Jones says that would open up the possibility of hosting a large scale event.

"With a facility with 20 courts, obviously we could host the Provincials quite easily, as we've done on the 18 we have in the past. But it also gives us an opportunity to host the Nationals," he said.

"The Nationals this year is being held in Kingston (Ontario), and prior to that it was held in Kelowna (BC). With the National tournament, that tournament itself can generate probably $1 million to the local economy."

The Pickleheads are asking the city to put up $60,000 for the project, with another $60,000 set to come through a provincial grant.

The club would then fund the remaining $20,000 through fundraising.

Jones was asked what would happen if the grant money doesn't come through.

"I guess we would have to get busy doing a lot of fundraising, because obviously we would require the grant to do a project of such magnitude," he said.

"If we had to make up the $60,000 - it's possible, but it would take us some time through some active fundraising."

City council will make a final decision on the group's request during budget deliberations in November.

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