KCC invites public to support pickleball expansion project

Kellogg Community College today announced it is asking members of the public to contribute to a project that will improve and expand the outdoor pickleball courts on the North Avenue campus in Battle Creek.

Designed to facilitate the community’s interest in pickleball, the KCC pickleball complex will soon feature 12 courts for recreational and tournament play while serving as the largest outdoor pickleball destination in the Battle Creek area. The project will upgrade eight existing courts, add four new courts and create opportunities for future usage, including tournaments.

Construction is scheduled to begin later this month and be complete in October. At least eight courts will remain available for public use during construction.

“Pickleball is one of the most popular and fastest-growing sports in the United States and we are thrilled that so many people in our community want to play on the beautiful campus of KCC,” said Eric Greene, Vice President for Communications and Advancement. “The College has partnered with local pickleball clubs and the Calhoun County Visitors Bureau to develop this project and we are all hoping additional individuals, businesses and organizations will donate toward the cost of this community-inspired effort.”

The goal of the fundraising campaign is to raise $50,000 by early October.

Funds raised for this project will support key elements, such as:

  • Converting two existing tennis courts into four new pickleball courts
  • Repairing surfaces of eight existing courts
  • Adding windscreens to create optimal conditions for gameplay
  • Installing benches for players waiting between games
  • Adding new nets and court dividers
  • Installing gates to allow for faster travel between courts

“In the past several years, we at KCC have observed a steady increase in the number of recreational pickleball players who use the existing courts,” Greene said. “It is common to see 40 to 60 players using the courts daily in the spring, summer and fall.”

Anyone who would like to donate toward the cost of the $160,000 project may do so online at kellogg.edu/pickleball. Donations of any size are sincerely appreciated.

Anyone who wishes to give by cash or check may do so by addressing their gift to: Kellogg Community College, c/o Pickleball Project Fund, 450 North Ave., Battle Creek, MI 49017.

Gifts of $100 or more will qualify a donor for the following gestures of appreciation:

  • Level 1 ($100 or more): KCC-branded souvenir
  • Level 2 ($250 or more): Level 1, plus a one-hour pickleball lesson from a local player
  • Level 3 ($500 or more): Level 2, plus lunch on the KCC campus and a $50 gift certificate for a KCC Lifelong Learning class
  • Level 4 ($750 or more): Level 3, plus a vinyl banner advertisement on the KCC pickleball fence for two seven-month seasons
  • Level 5 ($1,500 or more): Level 4, plus a commemorative plaque on one of 12 benches located on the pickleball courts

The CCVB was one of the earliest supporters while the KCC project was being developed during the spring of 2023.

“We have seen a tremendous growth in pickleball throughout the county and the Battle Creek Pickleball and Cereal City Pickleball clubs have been great advocates for the improvements,” said Linda Freybler, Chief Executive Officer of the Calhoun County Visitors Bureau. “They brought the idea to the CCVB and KCC, educated us on pickleball and even invited us to play – and now I’m hooked on the sport!”

“The CCVB Board recognizes the importance of this project and wanted to financially support it  in partnership with KCC and the clubs. The new courts will benefit local people and also help us bring tournaments to Battle Creek,” Freybler said.

Earlier this year, the KCC Board of Trustees authorized the project. Using the USA Pickleball specifications as a guide, KCC worked with Battle Creek-based Schweitzer Inc. to generate plans to ensure all 12 courts will accommodate organized tournaments. Once completed, the courts will remain open on a first-come, first-served basis except when reserved for College activities and tournaments.

Questions about the project, including donations and sponsorships, can be directed to Eric Greene, Vice President for Communications and Advancement, at greenee@kellogg.edu.

For more news about Kellogg Community College, view our latest press releases online at https://daily.kellogg.edu/category/news-releases.