Yukon outdoor tennis courts to get overhaul

Several will be marked for pickleball at Kimbell, City parks

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Yukon’s Carma Branscum and Richard Lewis compete in the popular sports of pickleball inside the Jackie Cooper Gym, 1024 E Main. Plans call for several tennis courts at Yukon City Park and Kimbell Park to be marked with pickleball lines, allowing pickleball enthusiasts to play outdoors. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

Tennis courts at two Yukon city parks are due a significant overhaul.

Proposals are being solicited to renovate outdoor tennis courts at Yukon City Park, 2200 S Holly; and Kimbell Park, 525 S 7th. Plans call for several courts to be available for pickleball.

The city council, at its Dec. 20th meeting, approved bid specifications and authorized Yukon Parks & Recreation Director Ryan McClure to advertise and receive bids for projects at both Yukon City Park and Kimbell Park.

Ryan McClure

“I believe that the renovation of these courts will allow us to substantially grow our tennis and pickleball programs here in Yukon,” McClure advised city council members in a Dec. 20th memo.

“The renovations will also allow for a safer experience for tennis and pickleball players.”

Yukon City Park’s four outdoor tennis courts will be resurfaced and repaired, according to the bid specs. Two of the four courts will be marked for pickleball.

“The tennis courts still get good participation despite their deteriorating condition,” McClure noted.

Kimbell Park’s two outdoor tennis courts also will be resurfaced and repaired, including the addition of pickleball lines on one court.

A sport that has become increasingly popular in recent years, pickleball is a combination of tennis, badminton and ping-pong.

Players use solid paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a perforated polymer ball over the net.

Yukon has an active pickleball group that plays on weekdays inside the Jackie Cooper Gym, 1024 E Main.

Both the Yukon City Park and Kimbell Park tennis court renovation projects are part of the 2022-23 Yukon Parks & Recreation capital budget.

Companies interested in the work must submit proposals to the Yukon City Clerk by 3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 30. The proposals will then be opened at City Hall, 500 W Main.

Each vendor proposal should include the price of the court/surface, according to the bid specs:

“This includes but is not limited to designing, cleaning, repairing, installing, and constructing,” the document reads. “The proposal should also include the type of materials to be used. Once a proposal has been selected, the construction implementation process will begin.”

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WELCOME ADDITION

Yukon’s Carma Branscum, leader of Yukon’s pickleball group, was contacted by McClure about the proposed outdoor pickleball courts.

“It was nice to be consulted and for Ryan to tell us their plans and ask for our input,” Branscum said. “He’s a pickleball player and understands everything that goes into pickleball courts. Ryan is getting advice from many pickleball people and the Greater Oklahoma City Pickleball Club.

“We’ve never had outdoor pickleball in Yukon, and there’s more to take into consideration because of wind and the elements, having a lighter ball and smaller court than tennis.”

Branscum, a retired physical education teacher, said she and other Yukon pickleballers are very excited about being able to compete outside.

The goal is for the outdoor courts to be “ready to go” by late spring or early summer 2023, she noted.

“At the Jackie Cooper Gym, we’re limited to six courts, but we’ve been having an average of 38 to 40 people come out,” Branscum added. “Our players are primarily from Yukon, but we also have people from Oklahoma City, El Reno, Moore, Midwest City, Edmond, and other communities who come to Yukon to play.”

Participation is expected to increase when Yukon’s new outdoor pickleball courts open.

“We will be involved in helping the city promote it,” Branscum concluded. “We always welcome anyone who wants to play and get the experience.”

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