Tennis courts among Sunset Park updates

Town of Wickenburg workers remove dirt from the space just east of the pickleball courts at Sunset Park. Two tennis courts will be built at the location.

By Shawn Byrne

Sun Editor/Photographer

Town of Wickenburg officials are confident when upgrades to Sunset Park are completed in the near future, it will be in position to host more events and tournaments.

There’s plenty of construction activity going on at the park. Concrete is being poured in the area of the concourses surrounding the concessions stand. This area now has a ramada in place, artificial grass will be laid down, and the sand volleyball court will be moved between two of the fields.

“Things are looking good out there,” said Vince Lorefice, Wickenburg town manager.  “It’s exciting. It’s going to look really sharp.”

The Town is gathering dirt from the berm next to the playing fields and the area east of the pickleball courts and moving it to the area up the hill and above the pickleball courts.

“We’re expanding that area and making a larger parking lot up there,” said Herschel Workman, Town public services director. “It’s a lot more parking than nine months ago.”

The area next to the pickleball courts will be the location for two tennis courts. The Town has received a couple of quotes and wants to contract with one company that quoted $168,000. There’s an administrative hang up in that the company with the lower quote is not on the state’s vendor list as part of the State Purchasing Cooperative.

The company is working diligently to be placed on that list, but that has slowed down the building of the tennis courts. Another quote for the job was around $220,000, Workman said.

“They’re trying to get (on the vendor list) so we can go in that direction,” Workman said. “The timeline is up in the air. As soon as I can get a contract awarded for that, they can build those things pretty quick.”

Lorefice wants to get the parking lot that is being built up above pickleball courts paved next year through the Town’s budget process. He said it should be looked upon as a priority with the different events at Sunset Park and the future hope of hosting tournaments there.

The Town has submitted a grant proposal to the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation’s Diamonds Back Field Building Program in hopes Field B at Sunset Park could become a premier field. Funds for the fields come from the foundation, APS, local businesses, and monetary donations from individual players, according to the Diamondbacks’ website.

“We just put in for that grant,” Lorefice said. “We’re hopeful to be considered this year. I think what we’re doing out there would compliment what they’re doing, and we built that into our proposal.”

The total cost for all the work, including the lower playground that was upgraded last year, will be around $450,000 with the Town coming up with about $200,000 out of budget, another $200,000 from its Capital Improvement Projects fund, and a $50,000 grant from the Wellik Foundation.

The Town wants residents to be aware there is construction going on at Sunset Park and to steer clear of the areas that are blocked off for safety reasons.

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