Biermaier: It’s vandalism, structural failure, or a combination of both

    Those in the know are trying to determine if damage at the new pickleball courts in Schuster Park reported Sunday is the result of vandalism, structural failure, or a combination of both.

    All of the anchored standards that hold the frames for the nets were damaged to varying degrees. Reached by the Times, Parks & Recreation Director Scott Riopelle said he’s currently out of the state and is consulting with the Crookston Police Department. Based on the early information he received, Riopelle tells the Times it sounds like a case of vandalism.

    CPD Chief Paul Biermaier said vandalism as the cause is being considered, as well as structural failure, or a combination of both. The damage occurred between 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, he said, and was reported shortly before 9 a.m. Sunday. Biermaier adds that the CPD is aware of people who were in the Schuster Park area Saturday evening and has been in contact with them.

    Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact the CPD at 281-3111.

    The new courts were put in this summer. The initial plan was to use concrete, but Riopelle told the Crookston City Council several weeks ago that blacktop was going to be used instead because it required a shorter cure time than concrete. The hope was that the new courts would be ready for play in time for the Crookston Pickleball Association’s two-day tournament held during Ox Cart Days, but they were not, so the tournament was held on the adjacent tennis courts, converted for pickleball play.

    Local pickleball enthusiasts announced late last week that the new courts would be ready for play on Saturday, the day the damage occurred. As news spread online Sunday, while some people had plenty of negative things to say about the perpetrator(s), others noted that the damage could have been a result of structural failure as well.

    The investigation continues.