Longboat finds sweet spot in pickleball placement

Editor & Publisher

The Longboat Key Town Commission last Tuesday decided to create two new pickleball courts without sacrificing tennis nor basketball at Bayfront Park.

The decision marks the conclusion of a nearly year-long process in which the town sought to build up to eight additional pickleball courts and considered options up and down the key.

The final decision is to simply build two dedicated new pickleball courts over about two-thirds of the existing basketball court that is situated directly east of the pickleball court that exists now.

The town will next extend what remains of the basketball court by extending the existing concrete pad about 15 feet to the north, which will preserve a one-half court basketball playing area.

The commission opted not to go with a scenario that would have eliminated the one remaining dedicated tennis court at Bayfront Park. The consensus was that few Longboaters play true full-court basketball games and that a half-court will allow game play as well as the ability to leave three dedicated hoops for practice and one-on-one.

Town Manager Tom Harmer said there is already enough money budgeted to extend the concrete pad, reconfigure the fencing and situate nets and the basketball hoops.

Harmer said five contracting firms have expressed interest and the town should receive bids over the coming weeks. He said the entire project should be completed no later than the beginning of 2020.

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