BLOOMFIELD — The tennis and pickleball facility in Brookdale Park is being upgraded with new playing surfaces, fencing, netting and sports lighting.
“We always are continuing to improve upon our recreation facilities to ensure they meet the changing needs of our residents. The improvements we are doing at the tennis facility will relocate the pickleball courts so they are further away from residential homes and less disruptive to the calm of the neighborhood,” said Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr.
When the pickleball courts were introduced to the tennis facility in 2019, they were located in a section of the complex that was close to the homes on Grandview Place.
In response to concerns by residents about the noise created by the plastic pickleballs hitting off wooden rackets, DiVincenzo suggested the pickleball courts be moved closer to the clubhouse the next time improvements were made at the complex.
“Improving the tennis and pickleball complex is near and dear to my heart because my daughter takes tennis lessons and I play tennis. This is greatly needed and we appreciate the resources the county executive invests in our community,” Bloomfield Mayor Mike Venezia said.
This project includes resurfacing the courts in the complex, relocating the pickleball courts next to the clubhouse and increasing the number from six to eight and reducing the number of tennis courts from nine to eight, installing new fencing, netting and sports lighting.
The pickleball courts in Essex County Brookdale Park were the first ones created in the Essex County Parks System. They have since been added at the Althea Gibson Tennis Complex in Essex County Branch Brook Park and Essex Grover Cleveland Park. Additional pickleball courts will be created in Essex County Verona Park, which are striped for both tennis and pickleball, and Essex County Glenfield Park in Montclair.
Barreto Dowd Landscape Architecture and Site Planning from Howell was awarded a professional contract for $80,005 to design the improvements. ZN Construction LLC from Saddle Brook was awarded a publicly bid contract for $2,077,000 to perform the construction work.
The Essex County Department of Public Works will monitor the project so delays are avoided. Grants from the Essex County Recreation and Open Space Trust Fund and the American Rescue Plan were used to fund the improvements. It is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2023.
“I am excited about this project, because Essex County has been doing so much in Brookdale Park,” Brookdale Park Conservancy President Don McLaughlin said, referring to the baseball fields that were updated with synthetic surface infields, the running track and soccer field being resurfaced, the grandstand being repaired and the pavilion being built.