About a dozen pickleball players sat through hours of a City council meeting Tuesday only to be disappointed their letter got no discussion.
The group had expected they might be asked questions about the letter Kamloops Pickleball Club president, Doug Smith, wrote raising concerns about the City’s plans to demolish the Boys and Girls Club on McArthur Island.
The club uses the gym to hold games Monday to Friday. Pickleball is growing in popularity, especially with seniors, so much so that the club can only allow doubles to play.
In addition to Smith’s letter, council received a memo from City parks, culture and recreation director Byron McCorkell explaining his department is looking for new space for the club.
The building is slated for demolition in about a year.
After the pickleball group realized council had moved on to other topics, they left. McCorkell went to talk to them in the hall, and he heard some strongly voiced concerns.
One man said the City should have consulted them before deciding to tear down the building. Another said school gyms are too low.
He was asked about leaving the gym intact so the players could continue to use it, or to turn over the building to them for a minimal fee.
McCorkell said the building needs major upgrades; the walls are not insulated, the HVAC system is inadequate and the structure has other issues.
The City is putting money into the recently closed John Tod elementary school instead, and some of the groups that used the Boys and Girls Club building are moving there.
If that doesn’t work, he said, there are other options including the Tournament Capital Centre.
“I’m not going to throw you out in the cold,” he assured the pickleball players.
“Pickleball is something we want to see happening.”