AHN, Riverhounds planning $16M sports/health complex in Coraopolis
Allegheny Health Network and the Pittsburgh Riverhounds outlined plans Wednesday for a sports complex and health clinic on the site of a former railroad yard in Coraopolis.
The $16 million, 78-acre facility will feature 10 synthetic FIFA-regulation soccer and multipurpose fields, two of which will be indoors, and a 20,000-square-foot AHN clinic offering a full range of services including walk-in primary and pediatric care and sports medicine programs.
Pennsylvania is providing a $2.5 million grant for the facility.
Coraopolis manager Ray McCutcheon said the complex will help revitalize the borough.
“They’re taking a blighted railroad yard and making a beautiful facility,” he said. “Its going to help the whole area. It’s just a wonderful opportunity for all of us.”
The sports performance program will be headed by Frank Velasquez, a nationally recognized specialist in performance training, and feature advanced individualized programs for youth, adult and professional athletes, according to AHN.
“When you think about health care, it’s not just about doctors and physicians and clinicians and taking care of people when they’re sick,” said David Holmberg, president and CEO of Highmark Health. “It’s about making sure that there are unique opportunities in the community to keep people healthy. We’re proud to be here, and we’re honored to be a part of this because this is the future of this region.”
The facility is planned for the former Montour Junction rail yard that was abandoned decades ago. Efforts to develop the proposed complex have been going on for years, often slowed by problems related to funding and environmental permits
The property at the head of the Montour Trail is owned by the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County. It is leased to the Friends of Pittsburgh Soccer, a nonprofit headed by Riverhounds owner Tuffy Shallenberger, and will serve as a practice site for the professional team and headquarters for the Riverhounds Development Academy. The academy annually trains 5,000 young athletes ranging in ages from 4 to 18.
Shallenberger said the facility will be one of the best athletic complexes in the country, and its 10 fields will draw national youth matches and tournaments.
“As far as the professional team, it’s a world-class facility for recovery from injuries,” he said. “You’re practicing right there and you get a player injured, you’ve got the best doctors, the best care feet away from you. This facility is the best of the best. This will compete against any complex in the country.”
The facility will be built in two phases. Phase 1, including the health and medicine center attached to an indoor field, is expected to open next summer. The last phase is scheduled for completion in 2021 and will include the remaining fields.
Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or via Twitter .