Work ongoing on planned Northborough pickleball courts

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Work is underway on new pickleball courts at Ellsworth McAfee Park in Northborough. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)

NORTHBOROUGH – Crews have broken ground on planned pickleball courts in Ellsworth McAfee Park in Northborough. 

The project is moving forward a year after Town Meeting approved an article to use Community Preservation Act funds to build six pickleball courts off the southwest corner of the park’s parking lot.

“I can’t wait for these new courts to open,” Recreation Director Allie Lane recently told the Community Advocate. “Never in my 20 years working for Northborough has there been so much anticipation for a building project.” 

The Recreation Department has regularly been updating residents on the project through its Facebook page.

There were, for example, updates when a drainage pipe was installed in early April. Posts were installed on April 29.

“Pickleball courts are looking good,” the department wrote in a separate post on April 14.

Director of Public Works Scott Charpentier told the Community Advocate in mid-April that the contractor for the pickleball courts was well underway with efforts at the site, adding that excavation had been completed.

Preparation of the subgrade was nearly ready for the first course of asphalt to be installed, he said.

“There is substantial work remaining, but we were recently informed that the extensive amount of fencing needed for the project has been secured by the contractor without delay,” Charpentier said.

Similar to work at the nearby Assabet Park to install its play surface, Charpentier said that this court installation process requires “stringent” weather requirements.

The project has also experienced delays in obtaining items, such as benches. 

In March, the Board of Selectmen released $18,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds for benches and gates at the pickleball courts.

Charpentier said last month that the contractor’s project schedule calls for the new pickleball courts being open and available for use by the Fourth of July. 

With their opening, these courts will join a growing list of facilities in neighboring communities built with the rapidly growing sport of pickleball in mind. 

Lane previously told the Community Advocate that local players had been playing outside of town for years.

Now, town officials remain excited as those players will soon have a new space to play.

“People of all ages can’t wait to have six pickleball courts in town,” Lane said. “There is nothing better than having the whole community come together to create a space to feel healthy and have fun.”

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