Sports courts that have been in the planning stages for nearly four years will open by mid-June. The courts complex at Boulder Beach includes one regulation tennis court, with two regulation pickleball courts adjacent. These three courts are inside the same fenced enclosure.
A separate fence surrounds a basketball court that is slightly smaller than regulation size. It features two half courts with Goalsetter MVP basketball systems and white lines.
A PowerGame two-tiered surface covers the concrete base of the court. This modular flooring features a locking system, so no glues or anchors are needed. The five-eighths inch high, self-draining surface stays clean by allowing water, dirt and debris to drain through. The cushioned design also provides shock absorption to help reduce joint stress and fatigue.
The idea for the new sports courts came from the Friends of Lake Panorama board of directors. The board held its first meeting December 3, 2013. An application for nonprofit status was filed with the IRS in January 2014, and approved in July 2014. Fundraising began in October 2014 with two priority projects – a new playground at Sunset Beach and renovated sports courts at Lake Panorama National.
Early efforts to raise money for renovating the LPN tennis courts attracted some donors, but the project didn’t generate enough interest to be viable. So full attention turned to the Sunset Beach playground. Once the playground was complete, the Friends board made Boulder Beach sports courts the non-profit’s next priority.
Fundraising for the sports courts was a cooperative effort. Friends had about $7,500 in “seed money” from 2014. The LPA board of directors voted in October 2016 to commit at least $50,000, once Friends raised $50,000. Another benchmark was a $25,000 pledge from Mark and Karen Einck for the basketball court, once the initial $100,000 level was raised.
Donations were strong through the end of 2016 and into early 2017. The Beach Ball held in May 2017 put fundraising over $50,000. At its meeting later that month, the LPA board of directors voted to match the $75,000 raised by Friends of Lake Panorama, and proceed with construction.
It was hoped the courts could be built in fall 2017, but weather issues and other delays pushed construction to this spring. LPA staff handled ground preparation and project management, in consultation with the Friends of Lake Panorama.
Construction took place throughout the month of May 2018. This included building concrete forms, pouring concrete over several days, setting fence poles, installing the PowerGame surface, basketball systems, tennis and pickleball nets, and painting lines. The last step is installing the fence on the posts already in place. The courts will open once the fence is installed.
There is a concrete space between the two fenced court areas. Two memorial benches and a black metal trash receptacle will be installed in this patio area in the next few weeks.
If more private funds are donated, additional amenities could be added to the sports courts complex. For that reason, Friends of Lake Panorama will continue to accept donations designated for use at the sports courts.
For donations by check, mail it to PO Box 488, Panora, Iowa, 50216. Or donations can be accepted electronically on the website at www.friendsoflakepanorama.org.
Donations of securities (stocks, mutual funds, etc.) are welcome, and will be sold once transferred, with the proceeds deposited into the Friends bank account. A securities account has been established with GCSB Investment Center in Panora.
Donations can be made in someone’s memory or in honor of someone. All donations are welcome. Donors of $500 or more are recognized on the Friends website.
Also, a sign listing donors of $500 or more will be erected near the sports courts. Those who would like to be recognized in this way must make their donation by July 12, 2018, so the sign can be finalized and installed this summer.