The prospect of pickleball courts at the Okotoks Centennial Centre is coming closer to fruition.

In June, town council was presented with the option of introducing indoor courts, and they directed administration to present a cost breakdown at a later date.

The intent is to provide more venue options for the ever-popular sport while addressing noise complaints from residents surrounding the outdoor Bob Anderson courts.

At their July 17 meeting, they were presented with the estimated cost of facilitating courts at the Centennial.

Short-term costs include adding free-standing nets, painting lines, a new floor finish, a court divider net, and electrical covers on the floor.

In total, the short terms items are estimated to cost $13,000.

centennial centre

Another $25,000 would be spent on long-term measures, which would be to replace the double doors leading to the seniors centre and protective measures for the stage lights. The removal of the doors is due to their disuse and there being the primary concern when it comes to sound carrying over to the seniors centre.

The concern over noise bleeding over to the seniors centre has already been put to the test, Parks & Recreation Director Christa Michailuck told council.

"We did invite the pickleball club representative down to FCC to show them the layout. We actually had them play pickleball down there. We did a blind sound test and the adjacent senior centre, which was being occupied, they were unaware we were trying pickleball next door. Apart from one room that was unoccupied at the time, it was non-detectable, so that was good."

Council voted in favor of a motion to proceed with the facility improvements using funds from the 2023 Operating Budget.

Councillor Swendseid spoke in support of the motion.

"I absolutely love what is happening here, especially because we are using an underutilized space when bookings are low, we're increasing rec opportunities for Okotokians at minimal cost, and not only at minimal cost, it sounds like we may recoup those costs with the increase in folks paying to go there. I also really love how administration has walked along with the stakeholders to come to this conclusion. I really appreciate how there's been consultation on what we're going to do and what we can do to make this a balance for everybody. I feel really great about this motion, I fully support it."

Reducing the hours at the Bob Anderson Courts at Wilson Park was also suggested, and council approved the first reading for a bylaw that would have the Bob Anderson courts closed at 5 p.m. on Fridays and Sundays.

They're planning on doing some consultation with stakeholders and the public before the second and third readings in September.