More upgrades coming to Jefferson Hills parks
From early morning to evening, Gill Hall Park in Jefferson Hills Borough was bustling with activity this summer.
Residents, young and old, took advantage of many of the park’s upgrades. There were days when senior citizens lined up to play on the new pickleball court, located adjacent to the basketball courts, said Brian Konick, Jefferson Hills Recreational Initiative member. The new basketball courts and repaired court lights allowed youth to play all summer.
“It was nonstop,” Konick said.
In all in the last 24 months, nearly $500,000 in upgrades have been either completed or planned in Jefferson Hills parks — and more are coming.
The Jefferson Hills Recreational Initiative, formed in 2015 to serve autonomously from the borough to secure grants and outside funding, will hold a golf outing Sept. 14, at Victory Hills Golf Course in Elizabeth to raise money for future improvements.
The initiative’s mission is to ensure borough parks and resources are protected and enhanced for the short- and long-term educational, recreational and wellness benefits of Jefferson Hills residents and visitors.
Funds raised by the initiative are “used to assist the borough with capital purchases” or projects, Konick said.
For instance, with a planned upgrade to the basketball courts at 885 Andrew Reilly Memorial Park, the initiative is buying the new hoops and the borough is resurfacing the courts. Work is under way to complete upgrades at 885 Andrew Reilly Memorial Park similar to those that were completed this year at Gill Hall Park, Konick said.
Upgrades to the tennis courts and the possible addition of a pickleball court will get under way next year. Work also is planned for the baseball infield and drainage system.
Also completed this year was a $250,000 multi-year project to enhance the baseball fields at Beedle Park, which included new fencing, infield seating and handicapped parking.
With construction on the Thomas Jefferson High School baseball field, the fields at Beedle Park were used by the high school varsity, junior varsity, CCAC and adult leagues, Konick said.
Those upgrades were funded through a DCNR grant.
The borough is waiting final approval from the DCNR under the grant to add restrooms and space for a concession stand and storage.
As all of these projects continue, the initiative, in partnership with the borough, is working on a multi-year plan to outline future needs in all four borough parks, Konick said. That will include needed maintenance and replacements and a “wish list” of items.
The initiative will seek public input through a community center feasibility study and at public meetings.
The plan is to have the study completed and a presentation on its findings to the borough by the end of the year, Konick said.
Stephanie Hacke is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.