Sports Courts Project Gets Green Light
By Susan Thompson
The success of a May 6 Friends of Lake Panorama fundraiser set the wheels in motion to proceed with new sports courts at Boulder Beach. The Friends board had set a $20,000 goal for the Beach Ball, and came within $600 of making that happen. Direct donations in advance of the event stood at $32,150, so Beach Ball proceeds pushed fundraising past its initial $50,000 goal. An anonymous donor had already pledged another $25,000 for a basketball court.
Last fall, the LPA committed $50,000 to the project, if Friends raised $50,000. At the LPA board meeting May 23, board members voted to now match the $75,000 Friends has raised, and proceed this summer with the full $150,000 project.
LPA staff is managing the project, in consultation with Friends of Lake Panorama representatives. Brad Halterman, LPA project manager, says some improvements to the original plans may be possible, while keeping the project within budget.
Bryan Jansen, owner of Sport Construction Midwest of Adel, has been involved with the idea of new sports courts at the LPA since 2014. At that time, he designed a project to renovate the two existing tennis courts at Lake Panorama National. That would have involved filling existing cracks and placing Sport Court suspended tiles over the entire surface.
Some money was donated for that renovation, but after a year of fundraising, the Friends board determined it wasn’t a viable project. In fall 2016, a fundraising drive for new courts at Boulder Beach was launched, and has garnered strong support from donors and the LPA.
At first, this new project was planned using the same footprint as the existing tennis courts, with pickleball lines painted on the tennis courts. But Halterman says as Jansen recently talked about how things have changed in the last 25-30 years, a change in the configuration of the courts was discussed.
“All along we’ve been talking about two tennis courts on a concrete surface that would be 106-feet, 10 inches wide, and 118-feet, two-inches in length,” Halterman says. “Bryan said court sizes have been shrinking, and also more people are interested in pickleball, rather than tennis. He suggested we consider doing a single tennis court with pickleball lines marked on it, and plus two separate pickleball courts.”
Jansen’s recommendation is to reduce the tennis court area to 56-feet, three-inches in width, and 110-feet, six inches in length. An adjacent pickleball court area would be 60-feet, four-inches in length and 62-feet, four-inches in width. The result would be three courts on a concrete slab that is smaller than the original layout with just two courts.
The LPA has a request for concrete bids out to potential vendors. It’s anticipated the cost of both the concrete and Sport Court tiles will be lower than the original estimate. Depending on how much lower, Halterman says there may be enough money in the budget to also install the Sport Court surface on the adjacent basketball court. Previously, plans called for only the tennis courts to receive the Sport Court surface.
The basketball court will be slightly smaller than regulation size, and marked for two half courts, with two basketball hoop systems installed. Both courts will be fenced. The general location of the courts is south of the road into Boulder Beach and east of the bathrooms. The final project scope will be determined at the June 27 meeting of the LPA board. It is hoped construction can get underway this summer, with completion by fall.
Friends of Lake Panorama continues to solicit donations for the sports courts to help pay for additional expenses such as benches and signage. While donations of all sizes are welcome, only donors of $500 or more are recognized on the Friends website. A sign listing these larger donors will be erected near the courts.
Donations can be made in someone’s memory or in honor of someone. Checks can be mailed to PO Box 488, Panora, Iowa, 50216. A donation form is available on the Friends website, which can be completed and sent with the check. Donations also can be accepted electronically on the website at www.friendsoflakepanorama.org.
Donations of securities (stocks, mutual funds, etc.) are welcome, and will be sold once transferred, with the proceeds deposited into the Friends bank account. A securities account has been established with GCSB Investment Center in Panora.
The Friends nonprofit is separate from the Lake Panorama Association, and has a goal of improving recreational amenities at Lake Panorama. All contributions are tax deductible. Email questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.