A 14-court pickleball complex won approval from the Hot Springs Village Property Owners’ Association board of directors last Wednesday,
The courts will replace existing pickleball and basketball courts at DeSoto Family Recreation Center.
New basketball courts and a nine-hole miniature golf course are planned at the site of the existing mini golf course.
Action on the planned outdoor pool project was tabled until April, allowing time for public comment.
Also, POA chief executive officer Lesley Nalley in her report recommended demolition of the Balboa Club building, then building a more affordable facility. The large Balboa Club has been underutilized for a number of years.
The $418,000 pickleball funding includes a $381,635 bid from Planit Dirt, a Little Rock concrete contractor. Funding also includes $36,365 for plan drawings, a building remodel, IT equipment and plumbing.
Seven of the courts will initially be lighted.
The design allows for the other courts to be lighted in the future, and allows for a future cover on seven courts.
Two of the courts are designed to allow public seating when not needed for game play.
The public will also be able to watch play from walkways and seating.
The courts will be open later this year. Pickleball fees include an increase to help pay for the new complex. Plans and the new fees were developed with input from the pickleball club. Fees will be pro-rated for a shorter year this year.
Director Bob Cunningham said several churches are hosting indoor pickleball play, and asked if indoor courts were a wave of the future.
Hoover said many players prefer playing outdoors, and foresees continued demand for outdoor courts.
The board tabled the outdoor pool proposal until April. Some owners expressed concerns about the cost of the project, and recreation committee chair Donna Aylward said she and most other committee members had not seen the final plans.
The pool would be built for $1,151,062.50 by Carrothers Construction Company LLC of Paola, Kansas, a 97-year-old pool building company. The proposal also includes $9,937.50 for IT equipment.
The outdoor pool was deconstructed this year, after closing at the end of the 2014 season.
Bids were solicited, evaluated and additional details were requested and re-evaluated. Using the new amenities prioritization tool from the Comprehensive Master Plan it scored a 115, high priority, Hoover said.
The outdoor pool will include the pool, decking, clubhouse, shade shelter, and pool equipment building.
A detailed project plan was approved by POA directors last Dec. 20, with a total cost not to exceed $700,000, with project deliverables to include a zero-entry pool of approximately 3,000 square feet, sloping to an 8-foot deep end, in the same location as DeSoto Pool.
Once the contract is executed, the project is estimated to take 40 to 48 weeks, weather permitting.
Hoover said the $700,000 figure did not come from bids, but was an arbitrary number.
Board chairman John Weidert agreed. “We did not say you can only have $700,000, but let’s wait and see what you can do for $700,000. It was a starting figure,” he said. “If we want to do it right, this is what it’s going to cost,” he said.