EVANSVILLE, In. (WEHT) – Deputy Mayor and Interim Parks Director Steve Schaefer held a meeting today at the future pickleball courts at Wesselman Park to go over bids and alleviate the public concerns about the project.

“So today, the parks board accepted and opened bids for the pickleball project in Qesselman Park. There were five local companies that submitted bids, and now the Parks Board will take those under advisement. So now, we will take a look at all the numbers, and figure out the final project, then take it back to the parks board for hopefully final approval,” says Schaefer.

The new courts will be adjacent to the existing tennis courts – which should minimize the environmental impacts as opposed to another location in the park. After listening to public feedback, the design has been changed to take into account these issues.

“Unfortunately, there has been some negativity towards the project, but what we found is based on misinformation. Whether it’s looking at the original conceptual design that’s no longer in play, or some of the concerns about the impact on wildlife, or cutting down trees. We’re not cutting down any trees, and we are working with Wesselman Woods and Wesselman Nature Society to alleviate a lot of the concerns,” says Schaefer.

Officials say that once they have gone through the numbers and have a recommendation for a company, construction will begin as soon as the parks boards gets a notice to proceed.

“We have taken a strategic approach to making sure that we are addressing concerns…As long as we do that and have the park’s interest at heart, you know, I see this project moving forward,” says Schaefer.

Schaefer says that assuming everything goes to plan, the pickleball courts will be ready by Fall 2023.