BERLIN – Community residents can expect a variety of changes at Manklin Meadows in the coming months.
Manklin Meadows, home to the Ocean Pines Association’s racquet sports complex, dog park and children’s playground, will soon include pickleball courts.
“As our membership continues to expand, having the ability to offer more activities for them to participate in only enhances the value of the community,” said Bob Thompson, general manager of the Ocean Pines Association.
Thompson said site design had been underway for some time, as pickleball was now an official Ocean Pines amenity and continues to attract new players. The sport, similar to tennis, is played on a court the size of a badminton court. The ball, something like a Wiffle ball, is hit back and forth over a net slightly lower than that of a tennis court. The sport has proven popular with athletes looking for something less demanding than tennis.
Plans for Manklin Meadows include moving the playground closer to the community gardens in order to make space for pickleball courts. Four courts will be installed, but the layout will allow for potential future expansion into eight courts. In addition, two new platform tennis courts will be installed. The work is expected to cost $250,000.
Thompson hopes to have the necessary state and county approvals by December so that a contract for the construction of the courts can be awarded early in the new year. Construction is expected to take between 60 and 120 days.
“The goal is to have it done by late spring,” Thompson said.
The playground will be moved this fall in preparation for the new courts. When it is moved, crews will replace the deteriorated wood posts that have been a cause of concern for some community members in recent months. Thompson said the recreation and parks department had received calls from residents concerned about the wooden posts holding up the playground equipment, as they appeared to be crumbling. The playground is still open, however, because the equipment has been looked at by playground safety inspectors and deemed ok to use.
“I understand people’s concerns but we’ve had it inspected twice and they said it was safe,” Thompson said.
Nevertheless, the association has ordered new uprights for the playground and will install them when the equipment is moved in the coming months.
“We already have the parts in but it’s a fall project,” Thompson said.