Sunday, September 25, 2022

Windscreens at Father Basil Markle Park

fyi... The following information was passed on to me about the pickleball courts at Father Basil Markle Park.


From: Marilyn Barrington
Sent: Sunday, September 25, 2022 at 10:43:48 p.m. EDT
Subject: Windscreens at Father Basil Markle Park


Your group may have noticed that 2 sections of the windscreens SPI ordered are now up on the north end only of FBM. Attached is a summary of how they came to be, and why one panel is 6 ft high, and  ll of the others are 44” high.

The project took  several months to complete, as our SPI Facilities committee needed to get approvals  and follow all of the requirements outlined by the City. If you think your group may be interested in  receiving the attached account of our journey, please feel free to share with anyone. Thanks.



Windscreen Project for Fr. Basil Markle Park

Windscreens for FBM Park have long been the number one wish of our membership. Having completed Uptown Jack’s in 2021, we set our sights on satisfying this requirement in 2022. While we anticipated the project being relatively straightforward, it required us to address a number of issues to keep the project moving.

Prior to the opening of the courts, we met with City of Saskatoon officials to outline our desires for the project and to understand what would be required from the city to get an agreement to execute the project. After a number of discussions, the city advised that they would require an engineering analysis on the strength of the existing chain link fence to withstand various wind loads and that the analysis had to be stamped by a qualified structural engineer for the Province of Saskatchewan. As FBM Park was built 50 years ago, there was no information available on the construction standards used at that time. One of our members, Ed Miller, who is a professional engineer helped to gather information on the construction specifics, which was then forwarded to JCK Engineering who did the analysis for us. We had done a lot of research to locate a supplier, Douglas Sports, who fabricates windscreens for municipal facilities all across North America and we selected a fabric that had a density factor of 85% and a long-expected life with a satisfactory warranty. We were hoping to erect 72-inch windscreens around the entire facility, but when the engineering analysis was done based on the structural integrity of the fence at FBM, we could only erect a windscreen no larger than 44 inches. The easterly portion of the north fence of FBM previously had a tennis backboard which was supported by larger posts spaced closer together for added strength. Accordingly, the engineering analysis determined that this particular section would withstand a 72-inch windscreen.

Having determined the specifications for the windscreen, our next step was to address the requirements of the CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) committee which is made up of representatives from various civic departments. We had to prepare a written report outlining the implications that a windscreen may have on potential for criminal activities using published CPTED principles. As the CPTED committee only met once a month, we were fortunate that City officials were able to get us on their agenda for early July. While the CPTED committee originally had concerns with putting windscreens around the entire facility, we were fortunate that they took the time to understand our approach and ultimately agreed to having windscreen around the entire facility. Once CPTED approval was obtained we had to negotiate a Use/Management Agreement with the City of Saskatoon that addressed such issues of installation, repairs, maintenance and storage of the windscreens in the off season. Also, we had to agree on the responsibility for eventual replacement of the windscreens when they reach end of life.

At the same time, we initiated procurement activities and encountered long delays getting quotes form the Canadian distributor of Douglas Sports. Eventually we changed course and were able to secure the windscreens through Al Anderson Sports who was most helpful in dealing with supply chain issues, import regulations etc.

All of this would not have been possible without the financial support of the Government of Canada through its New Horizons For Seniors Program administered by Employment and Social Development Canada. This program funded not only the engineering analysis and windscreen purchase, but also provided funding for equipment and activities used to promote the sport of pickleball amongst seniors. While the project took a long time due to the number of requirements mentioned above, we are happy to have the windscreens erected at the north end of FBM Park to get a trial run and also perfect installation and removal techniques for next spring. While the structural soundness of the 50-year-old FBM fence did not allow for the height of windscreens that we originally envisioned, we are happy to have windscreens that meet the maximum allowed according to the engineering evaluation, and we hope that the membership is able to get enhanced enjoyment from playing at FBM Park in the future.

Saskatoon Pickleball Inc.
Facilities Committee


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