Baldwin Borough tackling park upgrades
After three years away, soccer has returned to the large field at Colewood Park.
On Aug. 26, teams from the Baldwin Whitehall Soccer Association were once again able to use the Baldwin Borough field that has been out of operation for several seasons, borough Manager Bob Firek said.
“That’s back in full use now,” he said.
While work on the large soccer field at Colewood was finished about a year and half ago, the borough asked the association to hold off with playing on it, as crews continued seeding the field.
The upgrades to the field are part of a multi-phase approach to improvements at Colewood that followed a sanitary storm sewer improvement project in the park that included the installation of a 1.2 million gallon equalization tank that limits the amount of sewage that flows into the system during heavy rains. Instead, during heavy rains, a mix of stormwater and sewage is held inside the tank, then slowly released back into the sewage lines at a pace the system can handle. The borough installed the tank under a consent decree from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
The large field upgrades were part of Phase I of the Colewood Park improvement project. Two play structures were installed between Phase I and Phase II, Firek said.
Phase II, which included the installation of 58 parking spaces on the Overland Trail side of the park, was recently completed. The phase also included grading and seeding of a smaller, multi-use field. Seeding of the smaller field will continue through next summer, Firek said.
A restroom area with a small pavilion attached is currently being designed for the area between the parking lot on Overland Trail and the smaller soccer field. The borough received a County Infrastructure Transportation grant to help offset the cost.
Baldwin leaders also are moving forward with Phase II of park upgrades at Elm Leaf Park.
Phase I of Elm Leaf upgrades was completed last year, and included construction of a large pavilion, new play structure, a rubberized play surface, updated horse shoe pits and permanent corn hole boards, lighting and restroom facilities.
Contracts for Phase II were awarded on Sept. 17, with construction to start in the next few weeks, Firek said.
The project will include removing the tennis courts and replacing them with handicap accessible parking for the borough pool and basketball courts.
The basketball courts, which Firek said are highly used, will be redone, with new rims and hoops added. A walking trail will be added around the lower field and connect to Phase I of the project. A new play structure also will be added near the lower field.
The parking lot will be reworked and a portion will be sectioned off in a fenced-in area for dek hockey.
“A lot of people wanted dek hockey,” Firek said. “It’s big in the area. We figured we’d give them a place to play.”
Phase II of the Elm Leaf renovations is estimated to cost $850,000. The borough received a $200,000 grant from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to offset part of the cost.
Firek said all of the upgrades are working to create signature parks in Baldwin.
“We want your kids to come and play. We want children and young adults to come and have a place to call their own and to be in the community and talk about when they’re older,” he said.