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North Fayette plans to build $3M community center

| Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, 7:30 p.m.

North Fayette plans to accommodate the needs of its growing population with a community center that would cost up to $3 million and replace an outdated facility.

“There are facets of the community that are looking for additional space. It's more a matter of we are recognizing it as meeting the needs of the growth we have here,” township Manager Bob Grimm said.

Between 2000 and 2010, North Fayette's population increased about 14 percent to 2,663 residents, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The community center is proposed for 9.127 acres on New Park Road Extension that the township is buying from Charles and Elizabeth Kelly, but Grimm declined to reveal the purchase price because the sale has not been finalized. The land is next to Donaldson Community Park on Donaldson Road, Grimm said. The park has a mile-long trail that could be extended to the center, he said.

The planning commission voted last week to recommend that supervisors approve a preliminary site plan. The estimated cost of the center is between $2.5 million and $3 million. A public hearing on a conditional use application, which is needed because the center would be in a residential zoning district, will take place in March, Grimm said.

Plans are in preliminary stages, but officials expect the facility to include a gym, meeting rooms and possibly office space for the parks and recreation department. It would be a two-level building between 16,000 and 20,000 square feet.

A playground at the existing community center and basketball and tennis courts at the township building on North Branch Road would be relocated to the center, Grimm said.

The township is reviewing architectural proposals from 10 firms in Pennsylvania and Ohio and plans to pick a firm in March, he said.

The existing community center is in a 13,000-square-foot building on Steubenville Pike that is too small, has insufficient parking and cannot meet federal accessibility standards, Grimm said.

One portion was built about 60 years ago, and the other was built about 33 years ago.

“It really doesn't meet our needs from a recreational standpoint,” he said.

The township expects to break ground in about a year, and for the project to be completed by July 2014.

The current center houses Western Allegheny Community Library, which is moving into a building at 181 Bateman Road that it purchased in May, and leases space to District Justice Anthony Saveikis. The township has not decided if it will find another use for the building or sell it, Grimm said.

Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5662 or tparrish@tribweb.com.

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