Pullman city officials say improvements to Kruegel and Sunnyside parks, including new pickleball courts, are nearing completion.

Recreation Superintendent Kurt Dahmen said one tennis court at Sunnyside has been converted into four pickleball courts, and another two were constructed over one of Kruegel’s existing tennis courts. He said four tennis courts — two at Sunnyside and two at Kruegel — were due for some upgrades and maintenance anyway, and it seemed like an ideal opportunity to bring pickleball to Pullman.

“It’s one of those sports that, nationwide, is gaining popularity and there’s a user group in the community that’s been asking us to add courts here and there,” Dahmen said. “When we did our needs assessment survey as part of our five-year plan, it’s one of the amenities that people had asked for that kept coming up.”

Dahmen said he expects the refinished courts to be ready for use by the end of the week. He said the upgrades to courts at both parks cost around $85,000 and were funded through the city’s Metropolitan Parks District Capital Improvement Fund.

Dahmen said a separate project that promises to make Sunnyside a little more ADA-friendly is nearly finished as well.

“We’re doing two things in Sunnyside Park, one is doing a concrete sidewalk to provide an ADA access to the shelter — so from the shelter to the restrooms and to the parking lot,” said Sam Nasralla, a senior civil engineer with Pullman Public Works. “Then the second part in Sunnyside Park, we are paving the access around the pond.”

Nasralla said not only have existing paths been repaved and widened, crews have also worked to diminish some of the steeper climbs, adding landings in some areas.

Nasralla said upgrading and improving access in city spaces is an ongoing process and Pullman does a fair job of continuing to make the issue an infrastructural priority. He said Public Works often uses seemingly unrelated projects as an opportunity to make ADA upgrades to nearby walkways. For example, he said, while doing street resurfacing work along Skyline Drive and State and Cleveland streets, crews also installed ADA compliant ramps at every intersection.

He said these improvements, particularly those like the new paths at Sunnyside, will be a welcome change for those with certain ADA needs but can be appreciated by all.

“I’m hoping that people like what’s there,” Nasralla said. “Some of the people are excited — even not somebody with ADA (needs), somebody like a mom pushing a stroller.”

Scott Jackson can be reached at (208) 883-4636, or by email to sjackson@dnews.com.

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