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SVC opens new community pickleball pavilion

Jul 5, 2022

Skagit Valley College celebrated a grand opening of a 10-court pickleball pavilion on its Mount Vernon campus Thursday, June 30.

“Skagit Valley College is committed to providing a place for opportunities and experiences for all members of our community,” said Dr. Tom Keegan, SVC president. “The new Blackburn Pickleball Pavilion will give students, employees, and the community a place to gather, foster friendships, and build relationships.”

SVC officially named the court, Blackburn Pickleball Pavilion, after Claude Blackburn – who donated $1.7 million to build the court.

The pavilion project was in its infancy stage in 2019 when Blackburn and Dan Budzynski, past president of the Skagit Valley Pickleball Club, approached SVC with the idea.

Through a close partnership, SVC, SVC Foundation, Blackburn, and the Skagit Valley Pickleball Club worked together to envision and develop a place on the SVC campus where the community could gather, play pickleball, and build connection to the college and to one another.

“When we first envisioned this project, I wanted to raise the profile of pickleball and encourage younger players to get involved,” said Blackburn. “I also wanted a place where the Skagit Valley Pickleball Club and the broader community could play pickleball throughout the year, rain or shine. Partnering with the college helped us achieve both of these goals, and I’m proud of the investment I’ve made and the work we’ve done to open this pavilion.”

“It is way more than just pickleball,” said Keegan. “It is about serving our community and creating opportunities for relationships. We can’t fulfill the mission of the college without partnerships and relationships like this.”

Blackburn Pickleball Pavilion is the first pickleball court to open at a Washington state community college.

SVC is operating the pavilion, and it is free and open to the public on a daily basis. Seven courts are reserved for members of the Skagit Valley Pickleball Club during morning and afternoon blocks. The courts are otherwise available on a first-come first-serve basis to the public, SVC students, and SVC employees.

For more information about the Blackburn Pickleball Pavilion project, contact [email protected]. For questions about reserving or playing at the pavilion, contact [email protected].

(from left to right): Brad Tuininga, SVC Foundation executive director; Dr. Tom Keegan, SVC president; Claude Blackburn; Dan Budzynski, Skagit Valley Pickleball Club past president

(from left to right): Brad Tuininga, SVC Foundation executive director; Dr. Tom Keegan, SVC president; Claude Blackburn; Dan Budzynski, Skagit Valley Pickleball Club past president

From left to right: Brad Tuininga, Executive Director of the SVC Foundation, Dr. Tom Keegan, SVC President, Claude Blackburn, Dan Budzynski, Skagit Valley Pickleball Club President

 

Claude Blackburn takes the first serve in the first match played at the Blackburn Pickleball Pavilion.

Claude Blackburn takes the first serve in the first match played at the Blackburn Pickleball Pavilion.

Claude Blackburn takes the first serve in the first match played at the Blackburn Pickleball Pavilion.
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