Northmoreland Park on deck for potentially millions of dollars in upgrades
Westmoreland County is asking the public what it wants at Northmoreland Park in Allegheny Township for phase one of a park master plan with an estimated $1 million to $1.5 million in improvements in 2021-22.
A disc golf course? An amphitheater? A destination playground? All are possibilities and have become realities at Westmoreland County’s other three regional parks.
A number of new facilities were the result of previous master plans developed at Twin Lakes Park in Hempfield in 2006; Cedar Creek Park in Rostraver in 2015; and Mammoth Park in Mt. Pleasant Township in 2016, according to Lauren Jones, parks and recreation spokeswoman.
Now, it’s Northmoreland Park’s turn, according to Malcolm Sias, Westmoreland County’s parks and recreation director.
Park usage continues to increase as more people have figured out how important it is to be outdoors, he said.
“One reason for the upgrade is to keep up with the times,” Sias said. “The facilities are from a generation ago.”
Residents are urged to fill out an online master plan survey until Sept. 30 to tell planners what they would like to see at Northmoreland. Then, the county will hold a public open house 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 24 at the park’s Northmoreland Activity Center, 280 Markle Road, along Northmoreland Lake.
Landscape architect planners will take the ideas from the surveys and come up with a preliminary plan, which the public can comment on at the open house, according to Sias.
Allegheny Township Supervisor John “Ren” Steele said the improvements will be great and another reason to live in Allegheny Township.
He would like a small amphitheater in the park. “I would like to see a symphony in the park, concerts, the River City Brass Band and to listen to music,” he said.
Maybe a small, informal ice skating area similar to the one made in a low area near Weinels Crossroads in the 1960s, Steele said.
“You don’t want to junk it up too much,” he said.
The planning process can provide the public alternatives that eventually lead to a final plan, Sias said.
The county hopes to move from a preliminary to a final plan by March and apply to the state in April for grants. Sias said the county has some funds to build on and that the phase one project could come in between $1 million and $1.5 million.
“Once we apply for DCNR, we won’t find out until the end of 2020 about the availability of the funds,” he said. Then, in 2021, if the rest of fundraising is complete, phase one of construction of new or improved facilities would occur in 2021 or 2022. Work then would begin on phase 2.
At 548 acres, Northmoreland Park is the largest Westmoreland County park. The most prominent feature is the 17-acre Northmoreland Lake, which is stocked with warmwater fish and trout. The park offers playgrounds, pavilions, an Activity Center, BMX track, numerous athletic fields, tennis courts and a basketball court.
Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-226-4691, [email protected] or via Twitter .