Buckley hoping grant application will help build basketball, pickle ball courts

They city hopes the grant money will help the court be painted in Hornet colors, as well as feature the high school’s logo.

The city of Buckley is looking to get a little sportier in the near future.

During its July 28 meeting, the city council approved a resolution allowing Buckley to submit a grant application for a brand-new multi-sport court, to be located between state Route 410 and the skate park, alongside the climbing rocks.

“It’ll be a full-sized basketball court, and, going the other way, we can put up portable pickle ball nets,” said Kevin Caviezel, Buckley’s community services director. “Also attached to it is going to be a smaller practice court with an 8-foot hoop for smaller kids to shoot on.”

A 10-foot fence will be erected between the courts and the highway, to make sure “things don’t go too far out that way,” Caviezel continued.

The grant the city is applying for comes from the Washington state Recreation Conservation Office; the city already has $85,000 in its budget for the project, and is asking the RCO for an additional $75,000, for a grand total of about $160,000.

Caviezel said the city doesn’t need the grant to build the court — the $85,000 will cover a concrete surface, the hoops, and fencing.

However, the RCO grant would allow extra amenities like lights, bleachers, the pickle ball nets, and — maybe most exciting — a rubberized court surface in the colors of the White River School District, with the Hornet logo in center court.

“I was very excited when I heard about the application being submitted for the grant,” WRSD’s Athletic Director Chris Gibson wrote in a letter to RCO in support of the project. “Your assistance in this project will leave a legacy for generations to come.”

The grant application Buckley already submitted was the preliminary application, and the final application is due Aug. 10.

Being submitted with that final application are letters from the community similar to Gibson’s.

“We’re having kids write letters in support, too,” Caviezel said. “They really like to see the community’s behind this.”

If you are interested in submitting a letter of support for the project, you can email Caviezel at kcaviezel@cityofbuckley.com by Aug. 10.

There will be other ways you can contribute to the project as well, like a “brick fundraiser” where donors can have their names inscribed into a brick on the west side of the court. Revenue raised through the fundraiser will supplement the grant money coming from the RCO, just in case the department doesn’t approve the full $75,000 ask.

“We’ve had a lot of interest in the bricks,” Caviezel said, adding that the fundraiser will start in the fall.

While the final grant application is due early August, the RCO likely won’t pick what projects it will fund until 2021, and the city is hoping construction can begin in that summer. A May presentation of the project to the city council noted a potential opening date of August or September.