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Baseball center hopes to develop nine fields at former Westinghouse site in Trafford

| Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The manager of an indoor baseball training center hopes to hit a home run with a plan to develop nine outdoor fields on a former Westinghouse industrial plant site in Trafford.

The All-American Baseball Center has plans to construct a Major League Baseball-regulation field, a Pony League-regulation field and seven smaller fields, the organization's general manager, Dan Ninemire said.

The Trafford Zoning Hearing Board will have a hearing on May 20 at 6:30 p.m. in council chambers on the request for a conditional-use permit to build the fields in an industrial zoning district off Westmoreland Road.

If the board recommends approval, borough council would consider the application for the center to put the fields in a nonconforming zoning district.

CBS, which now owns the property where the fields are planned, also leases space to the baseball center in the Trafford Commerce Center complex off Forbes Road.

For eight years, All-American has offered an indoor site that features eight batting cages, a bullpen and turf areas for lessons, camps and games. The center trains about 2,000 players a year, Ninemire said.

The fields wouldn't be open to the public, he said.

“The biggest thing for us is to take the young players in our program and prepare them for college baseball,” Ninemire said.

The state Department of Environmental Protection oversaw CBS's remediation of the site, which formerly included the manufacture of circuit breakers.

Shannon Jacobs, vice president for CBS Corporate Communications, declined comment on All-American's proposed use of the property.

If borough officials approve the plan, All-American would be the second recreational group to use the property for fields. The Penns Forest Football Club leased the property for its soccer programs for four years until its relationship with CBS ended last summer.

Peter Ledwich, chairman of the zoning board, said the center's proposal could be good for Trafford.

“That would be nice,” Ledwich, who is running for council, said during a candidates' forum last week. “That would attract more people to the community.”

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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