Albion secures final funds for new basketball courts at Bullard

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 September 2023 at 9:25 pm

United Methodist Church steps up as key donor

The Wendel engineering firm did this rendering of the new proposed basketball courts at Bullard Park. They will be built along Route 31 at the former skate park area.

ALBION – A group working on building new basketball courts at Bullard Park has the funding lined up to complete the project.

The Albion United Methodist Church stepped up and agreed to pay for two of the new hoops, a final top coat, the painting and lining of the courts, fencing on the south side and concrete barriers to keep vehicles from driving on the courts.

Susan Oschmann is shown on the old basketball court at Bullard, which was in rough condition.

The United Methodist Church also recently paid for a three-wheel bike for Cycling Without Age to give senior citizens rides.

The church is trying to support projects that benefit seniors and also youth in the community, said Susan Oschmann, one of the leaders of the “Bounce for Bullard” project.

Sanford Church, the Orleans County Court judge, also is donating for two of the new hoops.

There is a chance the new setup could be ready next month, Oschmann said.

In June, Keeler Construction put down the first layer for two full-size outdoor basketball courts. That was funded with a $40,000 grant from the James and Juli Boeheim Foundation. The Greater Albion Recreation and Events, Inc., a non-profit organization, secured the funding with assistance from the Orleans County United Way.

The effort was still about $100,000 short until the recent donors came forward.

The top surface will be painted purple with white lines for the basketball courts, and yellow lines for the markings for four pickleball courts. There are portable nets for the pickleball courts. (Bounce for Bullard is paying for the lines on two of the courts through its fundraisers.)

Oschmann said there will be 3-on-3 basketball tournaments at the new courts, and basketball camps. There will be time too for people to use the space for pickleball, an emerging sport similar to tennis but in a smaller area.

That will have the basketball court effort nearly done. Oschmann said in the future more fencing could be added for all four sides, and the committee would like benches. The group would also like to see smaller quarter courts for basketball at the neighborhood parks in the Village of Albion.

She said many entities helped move the project along.

“Everybody is really putting helping hands together,” she said. “It is really amazing.”