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Penn-Trafford High School construction forces triathlon change

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By Chris Foreman
Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
 

Construction at Penn-Trafford High School this summer will force the Penn-Trafford Area Recreation Commission to alter one of its most-popular events, the triathlon.

With the high school pool unavailable, organizers are considering restructuring the event to include two running activities and one biking leg. The township's recreation board members are expected to consider approval of using the Penn Township Municipal Park for the event at their Jan. 23 meeting.

Though the construction will keep participants out of the pool, PTARC Director Cheryl Kemerer said she thinks the event will remain a draw.

She also said it's possible the revamped event would attract the regular participants, as well as those who typically choose not to register because of the swimming leg.

“It's going to be a challenge,” Kemerer said of the planning. “It's going to be like doing a new event, pretty much.”

The triathlon has been a summer activity for PTARC for eight years. The highest registration count, 222, was last year.

Finances

PTARC ended 2013 with almost a $20,000 profit, boosting its general-account balance to $42,160. However, $10,000 already has been committed this year to help pay down a loan for the parking lot project at the recreation center.

Commission officials also will have to pay Kemerer and her assistant, Linda Bires, one-time performance bonuses for 2013. Those figures will be calculated for the board to approve at the Feb. 3 meeting.

Board members opted to give Kemerer and Bires raises this year instead of continuing the bonus system.

Level Green field

Board members said it might be worth considering another use for the ballfield near the PTARC/Shelley Proskin Recreation Center because few people have been using it.

They said they already are concerned about the need to improve the fencing and bleachers for safety purposes if they intend to continue using the area as a baseball field.

However, Kemerer also noted that it has been difficult to keep grass from growing in the infield dirt.

Online registration

PTARC might be able to accept registrations online by March 1, Kemerer said.

Staff members completed the first of five training days with officials from Rec1, which developed the software for the registration application.

Reorganization

The board decided to keep Randy Dreistadt as its chairman and Larry Harrison as vice chairman.

Bruce Light, who is retiring this spring as Penn Township manager, will remain the secretary and treasurer for a few months until the board chooses a successor.

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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