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Star-News (Wilmington, NC)
PENDER COUNTY More than 15 years after the idea was first raised, Topsail Beach has completed work on its Topsail Beach Town Center park.
Located on nearly an acre of land at South Anderson Boulevard and Davis Avenue, the park contains a picnic area, a half basketball court, a playground, two pickleball courts and public restrooms.
Town Manager Mike Rose said the project was officially closed out a few months ago when state officials came to inspect the site.
Topsail Beach received a $439,910 grant from the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund to help with the purchase of the land and the completion of the project.
Rose said the park cost around $880,000, so the grant helped fund nearly 50 percent of the project s price tag.
Original designs for the project included a volleyball court and an area for lawn games, but Rose said input from community members resulted in the addition of a pickleball court rather than a volleyball court.
Somewhere around fall 2015, the parks and recreation chairman had reached out to his committee saying he had received a lot of requests for a pickleball court, Rose said. It was fitting and more appropriate for the desires of the town s citizens. The town board reviewed and agreed, and they amended the plan.
After the first court was put in, Rose said it quickly became very popular. He said there was a regular group of people that played, and folks who rented out homes were even being asked whether there was a place for pickleball in the community.
In November 2016, he said the parks and recreation committee again approached the town board about adding a second pickleball court.
The town board approved the addition, and a second court was added in beside the original court, which Rose said took up about four to six of the park s planned nearly three-dozen parking spots.
He said both courts are used frequently by residents and visitors.
I drove by yesterday and even in this humidity both courts were being used, Rose said.
In addition to the recreational elements, there are two separate picnic tables available for rent for private parties $50 for three hours per shelter.
Rose said the town also hopes to hold larger events in the park in the future.
A permit application to use the park for larger events can be found on the town s website under Parks & Recreation.
Rose, who was hired nearly two years ago, said even coming in during the middle of the project he has been able to see the benefits of the park to the community.
The town is very proud to have it, Rose said. And hopefully more and more people will use and enjoy it.
Reporter Hannah DelaCourt can be reached at 910-343-2075 or Hannah.DelaCourt@StarNewsOnline.com
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