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Richland park scores dek hockey court

| Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 9:04 p.m.
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Richland Township is partnering with the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation to construct a 155 foot-by-75-foot dek hockey court by the end of 2013 in Richland Community Park. This shows a model of the court. The actual court might not have lights.

A new dek hockey court is coming to Richland Community Park.

Richland Township plans to partner with the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation and Highmark to construct the 155-foot-by-75-foot facility for use as early as the middle of November.

“It might be sooner,” municipal manager Dean Bastianini said.

Richland supervisors voted June 19 to execute a cooperation and license agreement with the Penguins' charity and Highmark to build the new court.

The new dek hockey court is among four slated for construction in 2013, part of a $2.1 million program — Project Power Play — to build a dozen dek hockey courts in the Pittsburgh area by 2016.

Highmark provided $1.5 million for Project Power Play. The Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation contributed $600,000.

To help build the new dek hockey court in Richland, the Penguins' foundation will supply a dasher board system, playing surface, scoreboard, vinyl-coated fencing, sheltered benches and penalty boxes.

Richland Township will provide and prepare the site — near the new soccer fields in the southeast corner of Richland Community Park.

The township also will supply an asphalt base for the dek hockey court, plus, help with installation and electricity for the court's scoreboard.

“I think this will help kids play in a more safe environment,” township Supervisor Ray Kendrick said.

Township Supervisor Barton Miller read a newspaper story last year about the Penguins Foundation's efforts to increase youths' interest in hockey through Project Power Play.

Miller gave the article to Bastianini, who then phoned the Penguins' foundation.

Project Power Play aims to take advantage of the Pittsburgh Penguins' popularity by providing safe areas for youths to play games under the supervision of established organizations.

“We definitely want to introduce kids to hockey,” said foundation President Dave Soltesz.

But the new dek hockey court in Richland Community Park also might be used for soccer and lacrosse as it is a multipurpose sports court

Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or ddeasy@tribweb.com.

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