Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

More Upgrades Planned for Park Basketball, Tennis, Volleyball Courts Are to Be Built, Equipment Replaced

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

More Upgrades Planned for Park Basketball, Tennis, Volleyball Courts Are to Be Built, Equipment Replaced

Article excerpt

Penn-Trafford Area Parks and Recreation Commission is making progress on a plan to transform Penn Township Municipal Park, and is awaiting approval to move ahead with a second round of improvements.

The focus of a multimillion-dollar revamping at the municipal building in the Harrison City neighborhood of Penn Township, the park already is drawing more visitors to more amenities after an initial investment of hundreds of thousands of dollars in additions and upgrades.

On pleasant days, "it's packed," said Cheryl Kemerer, director of the commission, which is overseeing the improvements.

She was referring primarily to the dog park, where township officials say they have noticed much activity since it opened in the spring of 2013. Delighted with the addition, one township resident donated nearly $900 for a jump bar for dogs, she said.

The second phase of improvements could begin as soon as next fall, including replacing equipment at Warrior Wonderland playground and building basketball, tennis and volleyball courts.

But it could take as long as three years to complete, Ms. Kemerer said, noting that the commission must submit a plan to the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources as part of an approval process that is expected to take several months. The recreation committee currently is waiting to sign off on a contract from the state agency, which completed its final inspection of the initial improvements last week.

Encompassing more than 60 acres, the park already has undergone something of a transformation. In addition to the dog park, the first phase included added parking, walking trails extending to nearby subdivisions and an expanded pond that now is the scene of a fishing tournament in the spring.

The idea to increase the appeal of the park dates back 10 years or so, township Commissioner Larry Harrison said.

After at least one survey of residents, the township acquired an adjoining 17 acres of land in 2007 and drew up a master plan involving $7 million in improvements. …

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