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Park improvements a priority in Collier

| Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Collier is continuing its focus on park improvements.

Township commissioners awarded bids for upgrades at Collier, Skvarca and Webb parks at their meeting Feb. 27. Work should begin in the spring.

“The neighborhood parks need some sprucing up,” township manager Sal Sirabella said. “Over the years, they're very well-used. They've been the sole source of parks and recreation for the community, and they've shown some wear and tear.”

Sirabella said the improvements will include the construction of a new basketball court and a 16-foot-by-16-foot pavilion at Skvarca Park, located in the Cubbage Hill neighborhood. A new rubberized surface will be installed at the play area, and additional landscaping will be done.

At Webb Park, a new 20-foot-by-38-foot pavilion will replace the existing structure, and a rubberized playground surface will also be installed.

Shared-lane markings for bicyclists will be added on Collier and Webb parks' roads because of their proximity to the Panhandle Trail.

Sirabella said the total cost of the improvements will be $210,000 — half of which will be funded by a Pennsylvania Department of Natural Resources grant.

Work should be completed by September, Sirabella said. The parks will remain open, and summer programs and sports leagues should go on as scheduled, though the playground work and basketball-court installations could result in some temporary disruptions to use.

“There will be some disruption, but we have to stage it and manage the rehabilitation of these parks so they can do the least amount of disruption to the use of the park,” Sirabella said.

The improvements to the three parks are part of the township's focus on parks and recreation, Sirabella said.

The first phase of Collier Park — including a dek hockey rink, soccer fields, tennis and basketball courts and playground equipment — opened in December, and the township allocated $4.5 million for the building of a community center, slated to open in 2014.

Mel Cook, a Carnegie resident who goes to Skvarca Park during the spring and summer months, said he thought park upgrades would be worthwhile.

“They seem to keep it in good condition,” he said.

Signage program

Phase two of Collier's street-signage program is under way.

“(It's) moving along quite well,” Commissioner George Macino said at the Feb. 27 meeting.

The project, which began last year, involves the installation of new street and guideline signs throughout the township. This year's phase will focus on the Cubbage Hill and Kirwan Heights neighborhoods, and there will be four phases total.

Sirabella said the current street signs in the township feature four different designs. The new ones will be a uniform blue and white in color and include the Collier crest.

“You will know you're in Collier by looking at our street sign,” he said.

Sirabella said the new signs also follow federal guidelines for size, reflectivity and distinctiveness listed in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

The Cubbage Hill and Kirwan Heights signs should be completed by July, Sirabella said. The total project will cost approximately $50,000, spread throughout the four years.

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-8527 or dgulasy@tribweb.com.

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