Essex County officials reopened up the refurbished tennis courts on Friday, May 24. Executive in addition, six new pickleball courts were created at the facility; they are the first pickleball courts in the Essex County Parks System. Joining County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. (center) at the ceremonial ribbon cutting are (from left) Freeholder Carlos Pomares, Bloomfield Council members Ted Gamble and Warnyta Davis, Essex County Public Works Director/County Engineer Sanjeev Varghese, DiVincenzo’s granddaughter Hailey, Brookdale Park Conservancy President Mollie Smith, Bloomfield Mayor Mike Venezia, Bloomfield Council members Nick Joanow and Rich Rockwell, and Nick Naik from Zenith Construction.

The Brookdale Park Tennis Courts in Montclair have been updated with new playing surfaces and nets. In addition, four new pickleball courts were created; the first pickleball courts in the Essex County Parks System. Both opened Friday, May 24.

“Making sure our recreation facilities are up to date and able to meet the needs of the community has been an ongoing initiative of mine for the past 17 years. Recently, we received requests from the public to make pickleball courts available, and the renovations at the tennis courts made this possible,” DiVincenzo said. “People of all ages and with diverse interests should be able to enjoy our open spaces, and the pickleball courts are a great addition,” he added.

The tennis courts were last upgraded in 2007 and were showing signs of aging after 12 years of heavy use. All the surfaces were repaved and new netting was installed. Two of the tennis courts were reconfigured to accommodate the pickleball courts, so there are now nine tennis courts and six pickleball courts. The pickleball courts are the size of a badminton court (which is about half the size of a tennis court) and the rules are similar to tennis.

Zenith Construction Services from Orange was awarded a publicly bid contract for $519,050 to perform the construction work. The project was designed in-house by the Department of Public Works, which also monitored the project, so delays could be avoided. A grant from the Essex County Recreation and Open Space Trust Fund was used to fund the upgrades. Work started in March and took about three months to complete.

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