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Dek hockey rink desired by Cranberry residents

| Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
This is a rendering of the proposed Cranberry Springs development at the intersection of Route 228 and Interstate 79 in Cranberry, which will feature a UPMC/Pittsburgh Penguins sports complex. Some Cranberry residents would like to see a dek hockey rink there.

Cranberry residents have been telling Parks and Recreation Director Pete Geis that one type of athletic facility is missing from township parks.

“They've said we have enough baseball, football, soccer and lacrosse fields. There is no dek hockey in our parks,” Geis said.

That could change soon, as Geis has spoken to the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation about the possibility of that organization installing one or two dek hockey rinks in Graham Park.

Geis spoke to supervisors about the rinks during a Thursday presentation updating them on the installation of exercise stations at Graham and North Boundary parks, scheduled for this summer.

Geis said he met with foundation President Dave Soltesz recently, but there hasn't been any firm commitment from that organization yet.

The foundation and Highmark Inc. partnered on a $2.1 million, three-year plan beginning in 2012 to build a dozen dek hockey rinks in the area. The project will place four rinks in Pittsburgh, and the remaining ones in Allegheny County and surrounding communities. Several already have opened, including in the city and in Richland.

Foundation representatives did not return several messages seeking additional information.

“It's a pretty good deal,” Township Manager Jerry Andree said.

If the foundation goes through with the dek hockey facilities in Cranberry, it would be another sign of a deepening relationship between the sports franchise and the township.

Supervisors on Thursday gave final approval to a UPMC-Penguins sports medicine complex at the Cranberry Springs development, at the northeastern corner of Route 228 and Interstate 79.

The 184,000-square-foot building is expected to house medical facilities and offices for UPMC, offices for the Penguins and two ice rinks that would be used for Penguins practices and the public. UPMC will build the $70 million facility and the Penguins will lease most of it.

The building, expected to be open in 2015, is one part of several stages of proposed development for the site, which includes office and retail buildings, restaurant development and a hotel. The development also features a roundabout, or traffic circle, and would connect with extensions of Mackenzie Way and Cranberry Springs Drive.

Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or bvidonic@tribweb.com.

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