Charity Smith/Daily Globe
By CHARITY SMITH
Wakefield – After months of anticipation, planning and fundraising to build a skate park on the tennis courts at Eddy Park by middle schoolers from Wakefield-Marenisco School, a wrench has now been launched, which could change their plans in the weeks following the opening.
Regional pickleball players Lorraine Mussatti and Julie Hautala have made a request to the On Monday, Wakefield City Council requested permission to create two pickleball courts on the same tennis courts.
The women said they had measured the area and they could indeed share the space with the skate board park. They came up with a design of how the space could be shared by skateboarders and pickleball players.
“It’s pretty new to our area, but it’s the fastest growing sport in the United States right now,” Mussatti said of the game of pickleball, a form of bridge tennis played in inside and outside. “It’s not just like a retirement sport. It’s a sport that everyone plays. In fact, the best female pickleball player in the United States is 15. So it’s a sport that a lot of people practice and we would love to teach you all.”
Hautala said they hold pickleball matches six to seven days a week and more people are joining every day. She said that with only one court, they have in the municipal building gymnasium, it’s a bit difficult for everyone to play. According to Hautala, they have 10-12 people who want to play at a time.
The council referred the matter to the planning commission for further consideration. It met on Tuesday.
Mayor Dale White told the planning commission on Tuesday that the students gave two great presentations about converting the tennis courts into a skateboard park.
“We looked into it, looked at their PowerPoint presentations and thought they were very informative and very well designed,” White said.
“The most important thing we should be looking at is that the kids had it in the beginning,” said commissioner Dion DelFavero.
“We can’t say (to the kids), ‘Well, you’ve collected this money and now we’re going to cut your yard off,'” Commissioner Marco Movrich said.
DelFavero said the board made its decision to allow children to use the tennis courts on the understanding that the school was going to have pickleball courts built.
White said they should pump the brakes and meet the kids and school skateboard club supervisor Chris Tweiten on the tennis courts to get an idea of the approximate space the skate park will encompass.
The commission also said it needed to reach out to pickleball fans and see if they were able to secure funding.
The committee voted to adjourn discussion of pickleball courts.