West Deer planning upgrades at park, senior center

| Thursday, April 25, 2013, 1:31 a.m.

West Deer Township's plans to improve Bairdford Park and the land around the senior center on Route 910 include building improvements, road relocations and new pedestrian paths.

The enhancements — which would cost the township a combined $3 million — are aimed at improving safety and accessibility.

“Throughout the process there has been this underlying sentiment throughout to see how we can get some very specific needs at these parks addressed, as well as trying to improve the overall character,” said Carolyn Yagle, of Environmental Planning & Design, the architectural and landscape design firm the township hired to develop master plans for both sites.

She presented the site plans to the township's parks and recreation board Wednesday.

“The Nike Site plan is looking at improving the entrance area as well as the amenities throughout,” Yagle said. “At the Bairdford Park site, the focus was looking at some of the safety issues.”

The township is referring to the senior center land as the Nike Site because it is a former Army Nike missile site.

The proposed improvements there would cost about $1.4 million, which includes expanded parking and a pedestrian trail that would encircle the renovated recreational fields and park facilities.

The township has applied for a state grant for the Nike Site project that requires matching funds of $700,000.

The township has about $300,000 in capital improvement money and other funds it can use. It would perform fundraising, seek investors or apply for other grant money for the remaining matching funds.

“I know for a fact that the supervisors would give the go-ahead if we get the grant funding,” said Township Manager Daniel Mator Jr.

The township hopes to extend public sewerage to the Nike Site and plans to further remediate the land to remove remaining pieces of metal and other hazards, according to Mator.

It is a priority because it needs the most work and provides a compelling argument for funding, he said.

“The Nike Site, it's a senior center that used to be an Army barracks, and a football field that the Youth Association put in, and that's it,” Mator said. “We said it's an awesome location, it's right off Route 910 and the seniors could interact with the children up there. It's unique.”

At Bairdford Park, the site plan calls for relocating the concession stand near the four baseball fields to a centralized location near the pavilion.

Walking trails and access road improvements also are included in the $2.2 million cost.

Sandi Hazlett, a parks and recreation committee member, said she was pleased with the plans.

“I think they're very well thought out,” she said. “I know for my children and the youth organizations, just finding places to go is difficult.

“There are other townships that have no fields or facilities and are constantly looking.”

Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 orjweigand@tribweb.com.

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