COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WKBN) – “It’s looking great,” Columbiana City Manager Lance Willard said of the new sports courts at Firestone Park.

The public is invited to the “grand re-opening” of the courts. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, June 2 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Chick-fil-A will provide the grub and pickleball players will be showing off their skills in an exhibition match.

“They [Restoration and Beautification Committee] actually had a kind of public meeting with local pickleball players to say, ‘Hey, what do you look for in a pickleball court?’ so they can project what they wanted and I think they’ll enjoy it,” Willard said.

According to Willard, pickleball is becoming popular so they put in three of those courts, two tennis courts and renovated the basketball court. All of which will be open to the public during regular park hours.

“The key is to get the public input on the front side so at the end when you show them a finished product, ‘Hey, this is what we were expecting,'” Willard said.

The project started last September. The cost was around $350,000. Willard said it’s an odd feeling standing on the finished court in the same spot he stood when the project was in its infancy.

“I remember months ago we were standing out here, got the equipment there, and Pat Tingle with the [Restoration and Beautification Committee], she’s got a pink hard hat on and we’re like, ‘We’re starting.’ So they ground it down, took all those grindings away and started building it up,” Willard said.

Willard had plenty of people to thank for helping make the project a reality including the Restoration and Beautification Committee, the community, city council, Pat Tingle, the engineers, the landscape crews and everyone involved for doing a great job and doing what the people want.