| Neighborhoods

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Focus goes from park to community center in Collier Township

Randy Jarosz | For The Bridgeville Area News
Collier Parks and Recreation Director Lisa Novak stands next to an artist rendering of a potential new facility.

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Jeff Widmer
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, 9:02 p.m.

When Lisa Novak came to Collier, she knew what she was getting into.

It was laid out on the table, so to speak, during multiple interviews with Collier officials.

“The interview process was very open,” said Novak, the first director of parks and recreation in Collier. “I told them what I would do with their situation and they told me what was going on,” Novak, a native of Canonsburg, said last week.

“They told me what was needed. They were very open. I knew what was going on.”

Now, almost a year after she took the job, Novak has done something she thought at first was almost impossible.

Now she faces another challenge.

After playing a part in the opening of Collier Township Park at the former Charles E. Kelly Support Facility, Novak is helping to plan the new Collier Community Center, which is scheduled to open in April 2014.

The community center will feature a gym, banquet room, party room, walking track, locker rooms and a dance studio, all inside. The improvements and additions will be made to the existing recreation center.

It is not known how much it will cost for the use of the building.

The community center is estimated to cost a total of $4.5 million, said Collier Manager Sal Sirabella. The money will come from Collier's budget.

Before coming to Collier, Novak was the assistant manager at Mt. Lebanon Recreation Center. When she was hired in March, one of the first duties that landed on her desk was turning what was the former U.S. Army barracks into a township park.

“This certainly is not a ‘no-pressure' job. But there are no parameters. The commissioners said, ‘This is what we have, this is what you said you could do.' Now, I am being given the time to do it,” Novak said.

Novak is taking everything “day by day,” she said.

“I also was told to build a department. I was trying to plan things out that way, just break things down. Everything worked out,” Novak said.

Sirabella has been impressed with Novak's performance during the past year.

“She was chosen because of her expertise in managing a facility, and her extensive background in parks and recreation. Everyone here has been impressed,” he said.

Jeff Widmer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5810 or

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Carlynton

  1. Collier police get van, 2 motorcycles for $8K
  2. Judge rules Collier did not breach contract over 50 acres
  3. Kiddie Academy to open in South Fayette this fall
  4. Town Talk: Husband, wife to celebrate 91st, 88th birthdays
  5. New signs welcome motorists to Carnegie
  6. Oyler: Pa. rivers, precipitation enable us to enjoy water without worry
  7. Little Lions Academy makes classroom work fun in the summer
  8. Town Talk: Carnegie couple celebrates 50th wedding anniversary
  9. Musicians ready to perform at Teenage Takeover 3 in Bloomfield
  10. Washington, D.C., man sues Edgeworth, former police officer over arrest