Jake Rusher Park MIA Pickleball Courts? Football field to redo?
Today’s batch of burning questions, my smart answers, and the real deal:
Question: Attached is a rendering of the Jake Rusher Park Master Plan which clearly shows that three pickleball courts were to be built on the basketball court. The basketball court was built, but not the pickleball courts. So what happened to the pickleball courts? By the way, the fence around the basketball court is only 48 inches high. I have never seen a basketball court with such a low fence. Why was a higher fence not installed? Are all the works finished at the park?
My answer: I mean, what are the odds of a basketball bouncing more than 4 feet over a fence? OK, about 100%, but let’s not get this split.
True answer: Asheville City Spokesperson Kim Miller addressed the issue, after consulting with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.
Located in the Royal Pines neighborhood of South Asheville, Jake Rusher Park was “one of several places in Asheville’s parks and recreation system to receive major upgrades as part of a voter-approved bond referendum from Asheville in 2016,” Miller said via email. The park is also one of South Asheville’s “few parks or facilities to serve”.
“As such, the overall goals of the project include recognizing the community’s unique history and the park’s setting as an open space gateway to the neighborhood,” Miller said, noting that a series of community meetings were held in 2017 for feedback on design concepts. . “This information was used to develop a plan which was presented at additional community meetings in 2018. Feedback from these meetings was used to create the final concept.”
“City Council unanimously approved the scope of work and design of the park with the most desired amenities: restrooms, parking and sports fields,” Miller continued.
Miller also said that the rendering sent in by the reader is “not a blueprint, but one of a few general concepts of what could be developed with the space and budget available”.
“As the project grew, the message from the community was that this sports field should remain dedicated to basketball and neighborhood games,” Miller said. “In keeping with the directive to embrace the natural elements of the park, the basketball court retained a four-foot high fence to provide a barrier for balls that would otherwise roll off the court while allowing the exterior aesthetic to remain. central to the experience of playing basketball at the park.”
All bond-related improvements are complete, although more “playable art” is to come.
“During a virtual meet and greet with artist Becky Borlan, community members provided feedback and personal stories of experiences in the park to design playable art structures,” Miller said. “This part of the project is funded by the city’s 1% for Public Art Pledge and is expected to be installed later this year.”
As I’ve noted before, pickleball fans (including yours) are an avid bunch, and the sport’s popularity continues to grow. This creates some competition for court time, as pickleball courts are often drawn on existing tennis courts.
Miller spoke of the city’s efforts to recognize this growing popularity.
“After resurfacing tennis courts at Kenilworth Park and lining up two pickleball courts in 2016, courts were resurfaced at Malvern Hills, Montford and Murphy-Oakley parks in 2019,” Miller said. “The pickleball lines at these locations add up to 10 additional courts, bringing the total to 12 outdoor courts. on six additional pitches (120 hours in total).”
The city also noted that Buncombe County does not have pickleball courts in its park system.
“As this addictive sport continues to grow, I encourage your reader and fellow pickleball players to engage with Asheville City Council, Buncombe County Commissioners, and other local parks and recreation agencies. throughout the year, particularly during the budgeting process, to ensure that decision makers are aware of the pickleball community’s enthusiasm and fascination with this fun recreational activity – and its need for courts dedicated across the region,” Miller said.
Question: I was recently taking a brisk walk at Buncombe County Sports Park. What was officially number 8 football pitch has been demolished and obviously something else is going to be done with that part of the park. What is going on in this particular site?
My answer: If there’s going to be 20 new pickleball courts, there’s going to be some serious partying among a certain group of retirees I know.
True answer: Buncombe County spokeswoman Lillian Govus said it was the county’s “turfing and lighting project”, providing this link for more information: https://www.buncombecounty.org/countycenter/news-detail.aspx?id=19906.
Called Enka Sports Park Turf Project, upgrades to the pitch began on March 28.
“Three of the eight football pitches will be converted to synthetic turf and will benefit from pitch lighting,” the county’s press release read. “Courses #1, #2 and #8 will not be accessible to the public during the next five to six month construction period. Several disc golf holes will also be relocated during construction.”
Please be aware of increased construction traffic during this time.
This is the opinion of John Boyle. To submit a question, contact him at 232-5847 or [email protected]