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Patrons flocking to new Lauri Ann West Community Center in O'Hara

Tawnya Panizzi
| Tuesday, March 15, 2016, 5:21 p.m.
Fred Smith shoots hoops in the gym at the new Lauri Ann West Community Center. A 3 on 3 March Madness tournamnet will be held there on April 2 and 3. .
Jan Pakler | For the Tribune-Review
Fred Smith shoots hoops in the gym at the new Lauri Ann West Community Center. A 3 on 3 March Madness tournamnet will be held there on April 2 and 3. .
Members work out in the fitness center at Lauri Ann West Community Center in O'Hara.
Jan Pakler | For the Tribune-Review
Members work out in the fitness center at Lauri Ann West Community Center in O'Hara.
Kayla Slovenec works at the Everyday Gourmet Cafe in the new Lauri Ann West Community Center.
Jan Pakler | For the Tribune-Review
Kayla Slovenec works at the Everyday Gourmet Cafe in the new Lauri Ann West Community Center.
Serena Gay, 7, center, celebrates at her princess-themed birthday party on Saturday, March 12, in one of the party rooms at the new Lauri Ann West Community Center on Powers Run Road in O'Hara.
Jan Pakler | For the Tribune-Review
Serena Gay, 7, center, celebrates at her princess-themed birthday party on Saturday, March 12, in one of the party rooms at the new Lauri Ann West Community Center on Powers Run Road in O'Hara.

The 1960s era-Boyd Community Center in O'Hara came tumbling down this month while next door, users flocked to its $9.3 million successor equipped with a fitness center, café and program wing.

“The dedication of Boyd's directors, board, staff and volunteers helped lay the foundation for the beautiful new Lauri Ann West Community Center,” said Paul McComb, executive director. “While we celebrate the new facility, we honor the work and memories of all those who made Boyd a truly special place for our community.”

Lauri Ann West, housed along Powers Run Road, will celebrate its official grand opening April 15 and 16 by offering free programs to all residents.

Until then, parking in the old Boyd lot will be limited during demolition and cleanup. Center users should park in the rear of the property, while a new front lot is created.

Monica Gay, marketing and development director, said residents quickly have adapted to and started to enjoy offerings at the new 31,000-square-foot facility.

Attendance is up, Gay said, with more than 2,000 members participating in 300-plus courses.

“Our arts and enrichment after-school program is at capacity for most of the week and we have more programs and more partners to offer,” she said. “Attendance for the winter session has increased over this time last year.”

More than 50 students ride the bus each day from the Fox Chapel Area elementary schools to attend after-school programs, Gay said. There also are a few dozen high school and middle school students who visit after school to use the fitness center or gymnasium.

“It is definitely a hopping place,” Gay said.

Amenities of the new complex allow staff to offer a wider array of sports, arts and educational sessions. New to the site is the upcoming, first “3 on 3 March Madness Basketball Tournament” on April 2 and 3.

Divisions will be offered for boys and girls in fifth through 12th grades.

Member Experience Director Tony Allison said, “We are looking forward to hosting this first-ever tournament here and as we continue to grow, we look forward to having more events like this to engage all of our neighbors in friendly competition and fitness.”

After a soft opening earlier this winter, Gay said that everything is up and running, including the elevated walking trail, patios and private study rooms.

Member Pam Miele has enjoyed classes at the new fitness center while member Dana Rattenbury said working out there adds to the community feel of the facility.

“We are so happy to be able to serve so many in our community throughout the day,” Gay said. “Whether folks come here to work out, attend a class or eat at the cafe, there is always an opportunity to see a friendly face, catch up with a neighbor or meet someone new. This positive energy is what community is all about.”

For more information on programs, visit lauriannwestcc.org.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for the Tribune-Review. Reach her at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at tpanizzi@tribweb.com.

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