After more than a year of planning and construction, the city of Cortez is almost ready to unveil its last completed parks project from 2017.
The new pickleball courts at Centennial Park, scheduled to be complete last fall, were finished last weekend. They opened to the public on Monday.
The city also plans to finish one of its first parks projects of 2018, a new playground at the South Softball Complex, within two weeks, Parks and Recreation Director Dean Palmquist said on Friday. There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the playground at 6 p.m. on June 4, but Palmquist said he’s still planning the pickleball courts’ official opening.
The city started work on the pickleball courts last summer after receiving a Great Outdoors Colorado grant to cover part of the $200,000 cost. Renner Sports Surfaces, the company hired to turn two of Centennial’s tennis courts into pickleball courts, gave Oct. 31 as the completion date, but later delayed the project until May, citing bad weather.
He said he plans to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the courts, but he wants to wait until the city finishes some repairs on the nearby sidewalks.
“I’d like to hold off on the ceremony until we have at least three of the sidewalk entries done,” he said.
He also said he wants to invite some high-level pickleball players to give a demonstration at the official opening.
Other board members recommended the city lock the pickleball courts at night to protect them from vandals.
“It’s just a matter of time,” member Tom Rennick said. “Somebody’s going to go over there and mess with it.”
Palmquist said he would take that into consideration, along with the possibility of installing wind screens for spectators at the courts.
The playground at the Softball Complex was a cheaper, more recent investment by the city. The City Council awarded a bid for its construction to A to Z Recreation in March for about $27,000. Palmquist said the grand opening will coincide with one of the first recreational softball games of the season, and will include refreshments and plenty of time for kids to play on the structure.