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Construction to ramp up this spring on Durango pickleball courts

Players should be serving shots and smashing balls this summer at Schneider Park
Schneider Park improvements and the addition of pickleball courts are slated to be completed in June, according to an update to Durango City Council earlier this month. Construction began in September and went on hiatus as winter settled over Durango. A large concrete base is visible at the park along Roosa Avenue. (Christian Burney/Durango Herald)

Hints of spring are in the air, and soon enough, pickleballs will be too.

Sara Humphrey, interim director of Durango Parks and Recreation, said earlier this month significant progress has been made on the construction of six pickleball courts at Schneider Park along Roosa Avenue.

The project is expected to be completed this spring or early summer, which tracks with the city’s previous timeline estimates. But just how long it will be before players can take to the courts will depend on whims of the weather.

Humphrey said overnight temperatures must be at a median 50 degrees for surface coating to set properly.

Project manager Rachel Hart said the city tentatively expects the project to be completed sometime in June.

“However, our contractor has said if things forecast and look promising, they’ll get here sooner than that,” she said.

Progress is evident to pedestrians passing by along the Animas River Trail.

Hart said concrete and flat work has been completed and a contractor is scheduled to mobilize in April to complete landscaping, which includes a stormwater management bioswale.

The bioswale and stormwater management system will resemble a “dry creek bed with plants on the periphery, on boulders, but it will serve as a means for the water to cleanse as it goes into the groundwater and ultimately the Animas River,” she said.

Lighting is absent from the Animas River Trail at Schneider Park and will be installed as part of the project.

On Tuesday, Durango City Council approved a $1 million appropriation to the Schneider Park project so it can be completed.

In addition to the half dozen pickleball courts, the project includes lighting along the Animas River Trail and landscape improvements at the park.

Landscaping and surfacing of six pickleball courts at Schneider Park in Durango are scheduled to begin in April, marking the last stretch of construction at the park before its anticipated completion in June. (Christian Burney/Durango Herald)

“The funds are just taking what’s left from ’23, reappropriating to ’24 to finish paying the contract, and completion of the project this spring or early summer,” said Scott McClain, assistant parks director.

The exact funding appropriation is $1,009,127.

The pickleball project comes at the behest of a fervent fan base of pickleball players who have appealed to the city to catch up with other area municipalities and provide public space for the nation’s fastest growing sport.

The city settled on Schneider Park for the site for pickleball courts after weighing the benefits and disadvantages of placing them at the Smith Sports Complex next to Fort Lewis College.

In August, pickleball fans flooded the council chambers at City Hall to support the project proposal. City Council approved $1 million in funding originally tagged for a SMART 160 Trail project, a connection of the Animas River Trail to Three Springs, given the trail connection would not be completed in 2023 as initially planned.

The city put the project out to bid last year and construction began in September.


Durango City Council on Tuesday approved $1,009,127 in funding to complete the pickleball courts construction and landscaping project at Schneider Park. (Christian Burney/Durango Herald)

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