Plans for new O'Hara community center gaining steam
The new Boyd Community Center is expected to open in 2015, on the same Powers Run Road property in O'Hara where the current center is run from a former school.
The $6.4 million complex is expected to include a fitness center, gym, dance studio, art room and theater.
“Imagine having coffee or lunch in the café, using the Wi-Fi and visiting with neighbors while waiting for your teen to finish basketball practice,” for example, said Stephanie Flom, executive director of the Community Center and Library Association.
“We will truly be a center for our community.”
Plans for the last five years have called for a new community center to follow construction of the $7 million Cooper-Siegel Community Library. The library on Fox Chapel Road opened in spring 2012.
Flom said nearly 85 percent of funds to build the community center, or about $5.4 million, have been secured.
O'Hara residents Tonja and Alex Condron are expected to unveil a fundraising campaign this fall to help collect the rest of the amount needed. Naming opportunities for the center are available as well.
The center's programs are offered to Fox Chapel Area School District residents and those from neighboring municipalities.
Bids for construction should be sought by the end of the year, with a groundbreaking next spring.
O'Hara resident Joanne Germanos said work can't begin soon enough.
“Other communities have really modern community centers and I always thought it was the one thing lacking here,” said Germanos, whose children frequented Boyd for its kid-friendly programs.
“This still feels like an old school building.”
Boyd Community Center was founded 31 years ago, when a group of residents hoped to transform a vacant school into a gathering spot. Today, the offerings have grown to 300 programs that include cooking, painting, knitting and computer skills.
But Flom said enthusiasm and interest long ago outgrew the available space.
“It is a much-loved space, but it is well-worn and old,” she said.
Neighbors of the 11-acre community center site will be invited to meetings later this year to discuss concerns about traffic, lighting and green space.
There also will be meetings with the theater group Stage Right, which produces shows at Boyd.
“We want to ensure that the theater is designed to meet performance needs,” Flom said.
Small groups will be able to meet in program rooms, and a childcare room is designed for a drop-in service for people using the fitness center. Boyd's signature program, after-school Arts and Enrichment, will have a dedicated space where children can play games, paint and do other activities.
Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.