Getting a bit dirty seems like a good tradeoff for a great place to play.
That’s how Valerie Reagan views it when she visits the tot lot at the with her two children. Sure, the protective mulch makes for some laundry challenges.
“But the equipment is very nice,” she said on Monday afternoon as her son climbed, slid and crawled on the multi-faceted structure that serves as the playground's centerpiece.
Her daughter hasn’t started walking yet. But around the time she does, she and her brother will have something new on which to play.
Upper St. Clair commissioners voted Monday night to approve a contract to replace the structure, which has been a fixture outside the municipal building for two decades. The components, while still are safe and sound, are beginning to show their age.
The replacement will be a bit less scuffed, but it hardly represents a radical departure for the children.
“It appears to be similar to the structure that’s coming out, with various upgrades for ADA,” said assistant township Manager Mark Mansfield, referring to federal Americans With Disabilities Act compliance.
Sports and Recreation Associates of Apollo, Westmoreland County, will supply the new apparatus, which costs $42,000. The township’s department of public works will install it in the fall.
The department also will take care to remove the existing structure.
“We’ll investigate the value, if some other community can use it,” Mansfield told commissioners.
For older children—and adults, too—Upper St. Clair resident Gary Paul asked commissioners Monday about the feasibility of constructing an outdoor facility for playing hockey on inline skates. He said such activities take place at a couple of township parks but without ample room.
“You can only have a game with three or four skaters, then it becomes too crowded,” he explained.
Russell Del Re, board vice president, explained that the commissioners’ main objective is to hold the line on taxes. But he said Paul and other supporters are welcome to raise money toward a hockey court, citing the privately financed examples of the and the recently opened .
“The township has tended to work with people in that respect,” Del Re said.
He and fellow Commissioner Nicholas Seitanakis also thanked Upper St. Clair residents for volunteering to serve on various township boards and committees. That followed the commissioners making these appointments:
- Zoning Hearing Board – Leo Jon Grogan; Gregg Zegarelli and Robin Weissert, alternates
- Library Board – Doreen Hurley
- Planning Commission – Todd Burlingame
- Building and Fire Codes Appeal and Advisory Board – Robert Stevens Jr.
- Youth Steering Committee – Susan Speer
What are your thoughts on the plans for a new municipal playground? How about a roller hockey rink for the township? Tell us in the comments.