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Beach, climbing wall in plans for Mt. Lebanon pool

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By Bill Zlatos
Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010

Mt. Lebanon is considering $49.1 million worth of improvements over the next five years, including some to make the township's swimming pool more fun.

Next year, it would spend nearly $4.4 million to renovate the swim center; $3.2 million on sanitary sewer upgrades; $1.8 million to reconstruct 1 mile of streets; and more than $1 million for turf and lighting at Wildcat and Middle fields.

"Our swimming facility is over 30 years old, and it's just in need of some reconstruction work," said township Manager Stephen M. Feller.

He recommends some spray features, a poolside climbing wall, a heater, a family slide and the installation of a beach area.

"It would mimic a beach, coming up at a gradual slope," said Recreation Director David Donnellan.

The recreation department would remove two slides and add three, including one wide enough for a family.

"The idea of the heater is just to make the beginning and end of the season comfortable," Donnellan said. It would not be used when the temperature is 90 degrees or higher.

He would like to alter the bathhouse so that parents can enter the pool without having to go through the changing area. Doing so would eliminate the uneasiness some adults feel when parents bring young children of the opposite sex into the changing area.

Kristen Swentosky, 38, of Mt. Lebanon uses the pool two to three times a week with her three children and knows how some women feel when she brings her 4-year-old son, John, into the changing area.

"It's even uncomfortable for me when there are women taking everything off," she said.

Swentosky supports the pool improvements, as do her daughters, Samantha, 11, and Megan, 10.

Samantha said she especially likes the proposed beach-style entry.

"And I like the climbing wall because then you just drop into the pool," Megan piped in.

Anne McCourt, 41, of Mt. Lebanon swims laps once a week and brings her family two to three times a week.

"The heating is very important just because it is so cold," she said.

Next year's plan includes $486,160 for the golf course and $164,280 for the tennis center.

Donnellan would like to regrade the golf course's fourth and fifth holes.

"Four is kind of angled the whole way so balls end up in the woods even when you hit a nice shot," he said.

He wants to fix the fifth hole so that golfers can see the green. Now, only the top of the flag is visible.

As for the tennis center, two courts would be rebuilt next year, and the bleachers at the main court would be replaced.

A public hearing on the proposal is scheduled for Oct. 11, and the commission expects to vote on the plan Dec. 13.

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