Hempfield pursues $500,000 for park improvements
Hempfield will apply for more state grants to fund its multi-year, $5 million slate of improvements at township parks.
Officials hope the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will provide about $500,000 to build a large playground and finish construction of a sixth pavilion at Hempfield Park.
The state Department of Community and Economic Development has provided a $225,000 grant for the pavilion, which will cost an estimated $300,000 to build.
The DCNR grant would fully fund that project, leaving enough money to build handicapped-accessible playgrounds, according to Jason Winters, interim township manager.
The new Pavilion F will be a copy of Pavilion D, which has a full kitchen and can accommodate 150 people.
“We have such a demand on the pavilions with kitchens that we wanted to add an additional one in,” Winters said.
The playground equipment at the park is overdue for replacement, said township Supervisor Douglas Weimer.
“Standards have changed, and a lot of our equipment is outdated,” he said.
The township already has renovated the park’s other pavilions. Officials hope to raise a total of $5 million without using tax dollars to pay for a full suite of improvements, including a dog park and an amphitheater.
The park overhaul started in 2016.
Township leaders are taking a second pass at the amphitheater project.
Contractors initially gave the township a cost estimate of about $225,000 for the project, almost four times the amount township officials had projected.
Minor changes have been made to the amphitheater’s design to reduce costs, and a second round of bids is being solicited, Weimer said.
He said he hopes work on the amphitheater will be done quickly so that it can be opened early this summer.
Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6646, [email protected] or via Twitter @Soolseem.