Park plans presented to Peters Township residents
McMURRAY - As Peters Township proceeds with plans for developing a park at the former Rolling Hills Country Club site, input from residents is a priority.“We want to know what you would like to see in your park,” township manager Paul Lauer told those who attended a public meeting Tuesday at the municipal building to review a series of early stage conceptual designs and ask questions about what the future could bring.Township staff members have been working with Mackin Engineering Co. of Findlay Township on a master plan for the municipal half of the 190-acre site off East McMurray Road. A new high school is in the works for the other portion.“This is not a park for football, baseball, etc.,” said, Bob Genter, who is the registered landscape architect for Mackin. “This is a park that provides other activities and recreational facilities to the township.“Among the amenities under consideration are a dog park, nature center, picnic spaces, “adventure play” area and 2.5 miles of trails to connect with the township’s system and beyond.“You could bike 46 miles on the Montour-Arrowhead Trail into this park and over to the school, and not cross a road,” Genter said. “No other community can do that.“Of prime interest to the Peters Township community is whether the park will feature public swimming. Ted Wallover of Lancaster-based independent consulting and development firm Wallover Aquatics attended the meeting armed with sketches of several design possibilities for an outdoor pool.“Everything is designed here to relate to what Bob and the group from Mackin has done with the rest of the park, to tie things together so that there’s some consistency throughout the entire park in terms of how it performs,” Wallover said.He presented three size options for pools, ranging from 6,500 to 15,000 square feet, plus potential amenities including a water playground and indoor component.“The idea of doing a water playground certainly is interesting, because it now opens the park from April to October, instead of Memorial Day to Labor Day,” Wallover said.One option calls for an outdoor pool to be adjacent to one of 1,500 square feet in an enclosed area.“Primarily, it is a teaching, therapy kind of pool,” Wallover explained. “So it opens up programming for the township for older residents and younger kids, and it kind of fills the gap. It’s not what’s being planned at the high school.“His firm also is working with Peters Township School District on a possible natatorium that would feature an eight-lane competition pool. The school board still must decide if the facility will be part of the $90 million high school project.The renderings and documents on display at the public meeting referred to the subject as “Peters Hill Park,” but the township is in the midst of a contest to determine a new name. The deadline for entry is Monday.For more information, visit www.peterstownship.com.