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Murrysville

Sardis Park offered to Murrysville

Murrysville’s extensive park system might get even bigger.

Members of the board that oversees Sardis Park — a privately held, 10-acre property at the intersection of Route 286 and Rocky Hill Lane — have approached municipal officials about the prospect of Murrysville taking ownership of the land and preserving it as a municipal park.

“The board is getting older, and the availability of cash to maintain it is more scarce,” chief administrator Jim Morrison said during last week’s Murrysville Council meeting.

The park was created in the early 1960s, according to board member Jim Lucas of Murrysville.

“When Route 380 was widened, they took (land that included) a ball field where the kids in the Sardis area always used to play,” said Lucas, 54. “So a bunch of people in Sardis found about 10.5 acres which they bought from the Patterson family.”

The park began with the ball fields, Lucas said, and soon expanded to include two pavilions that remain today. Lucas said he remembers attending a small carnival on the grounds and chasing a greased pig at one of the popular carnival games.

Today, the park includes two pavilions, two athletic fields, two play structures and an active shallow gas well that generates about $100 per month in revenue, which Morrison said would be transferred to the municipality.

Morrison said officials from the park board approached him about six months ago with the proposal and that the land would be an ideal addition to the municipal park system.

“We don’t really have an active facility in the northern end (of Murrysville),” he told council.

Having two more athletic fields would allow for additional municipal revenue through usage fees.

“We get a number of organizations looking to rent fields when the others are all booked,” Morrison said.

Lucas said the Sardis Park board’s bylaws dictate that the park be given over to either the municipality or a nonprofit organization.

Morrison presented to Murrysville Council an estimated budget for the park. Spending about $65,000 over the next four years would address needs and upgrades including cleaning, painting, construction of a gravel parking lot, new roof shingles for two existing pavilions and other improvements.

If council votes to accept the new park, Morrison advised discontinuing use of the ball field at Royal Highlands Park and allowing it to return to its natural state.

Morrison said he thinks it would be worth taking on the responsibility.

“It’s a beautiful facility and would help us reduce costs at Royal Highlands and Kovalcik parks,” he said.

A vote on accepting the park will be added to council’s Nov. 19 agenda.

Murrysville has more than 1,000 acres of parkland.

Patrick Varine is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-871-2365 or [email protected].


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