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A $650K tennis court renovation at Lewinsville Park could include permanent pickleball courts

The Fairfax County Park Authority is seeking $650,000 to renovate the aging tennis courts at Lewinsville Park in McLean.

The proposed project will restore the surfacing and fencing at all six existing courts at the park, and one of the courts will be converted into four dedicated pickleball courts.

“The Park Authority Board, working closely with Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust, has endeavored to move this project forward quickly to address the growing interest in pickleball locally and countywide,” the FCPA said in a news release on Friday (April 22).

The recommended project is slightly scaled down from the three options that the park authority presented to the community at a meeting in December.

Staff’s suggestions then were to repurpose between two and three courts for pickleball use, either exclusively or as a shared-use with tennis. Many tennis proponents in the meeting argued that the county’s available facilities are too limited to share that many courts with pickleball players.

A countywide pickleball study finalized last year concluded that pickleball has grown in popularity locally, mirroring national trends, but Fairfax County trails other similarly sized jurisdictions in terms of the availability of facilities dedicated to the sport, leading to conflicts with tennis and other recreational activities.

The county opened its first pickleball-only courts at Wakefield Park in Annandale in November, though it has about 50 outdoor tennis courts that have also been outfitted for pickleball.

In addition to adding another dedicated pickleball facility, the Lewinsville project will bring much-needed repairs to the park on Chain Bridge Road. The existing courts remain busy despite cracked surfaces that tennis players say render them almost unusable.

The pickleball study confirmed that use of all of the county’s outdoor courts has climbed during the pandemic.

The Park Authority board will consider the Lewinsville project during a planning and development committee meeting at 6:30 p.m. on May 11. If the committee advances the proposal, the full board will vote on whether to approve the project and the requested funding at 7:30 p.m. that day.

The FCPA says the estimated $650,000 cost of the project would be covered by “a variety of sources,” including approved park bonds.

Public comments on the project will be accepted through parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov until May 10.

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