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Westmoreland County OKs prep work for Twin Lakes Park expansion

| Thursday, July 10, 2014, 11:15 p.m.

Construction will begin next month on improvements to Twin Lakes Park — an amphitheater and a dek hockey rink.

Westmoreland County Commissioners on Thursday awarded a $698,000 contract to BNC Construction of Champion to build out a 3-acre upgrade of the park to enable it to house the two additions.

Overall, the expansion project — the final phase of a three-part improvement plan — is expected to cost $991,000.

It will be largely funded through a mix of private donations and government grants. The state Department of Community and Economic Development gave $236,000 to the project, and the county will pay $36,000 toward the expansion.

The county received more than $753,000 in private donations.

“Twin Lakes and the whole parks program is one of the crown jewels of Westmoreland County,” Commissioner Charles Anderson said.

The 380-acre park in Hempfield and Unity townships has undergone two previous expansions. In 2007, the county opened the Peach Park skate area.

Three years later, the county added a dog area, a playground equipped for children with physical disabilities, winter sports sledding slopes and an expansion to the skate park.

The latest expansion, which is expected to be completed by spring, will increase recreational opportunities at the park and add a restroom and parking area, Public Works Director Greg McCloskey said.

“Expansion has brought a lot more visitors to our parks. More people are using the park than we ever anticipated,” McCloskey said.

He estimated that as many as 700,000 people a year utilize Twin Lakes Park.

McCloskey said the dek hockey rink, which uses a plastic surface, will function as a practice area for teams that participate in local leagues.

The amphitheater will augment the park's Island Stage and host summer concerts.

“Twin Lakes keeps getting better and better,” Commissioner Ted Kopas said.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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