Peterswood Park Amphitheater

Harry Funk/The Almanac

Peterswood Park Amphitheater

The shows will go on at Peterswood Park Amphitheater.

A plan is in place to allow for live performances and movies to be shown, as usually takes place in the Peters Township park during the summer, but limitations to allow for proper social distancing because of COVID-19.

During Monday’s council meeting, township manager Paul Lauer credited Michele Harmel, parks and recreation director, with developing “a very clever way of doing this” by outlining designated areas for small groups to gather.

“The limitation right now is that there not be more than 250 people,” Lauer told council. He acknowledged some of last year’s concerts in the park drew larger audiences than that, but the expectation is concerns about COVID-19 probably will result in manageable attendance.

In the meantime, the township’s parks facilities have reopened, including playgrounds, picnic shelters and restrooms.

“There’s an additional effort to clean them more frequently than what we would normally,” Lauer said about the latter.

The Community Recreation Center is scheduled to open June 15 for regular hours, 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. For the first hour of each day, the center’s track is reserved for users ages 65 and older.

Staff members will be wearing masks, and visitors are encouraged to do so, as well.

Athletic fields also are open, Lauer reported, and youth baseball and softball leagues have started.

“They have done so under guidelines they’ve developed that we have reviewed,” he said,” for how to interact with the youth athletes and do that in a way that we feel is safe.”

In the meantime, Peters Township Public Library staff members are working toward reopening the building “over the next couple of weeks,” Lauer said.

“Their preference is to do that on a measured basis,” he continued. “So the intention is that they’re going to open up the lobby, having people come in and be able to pick up books. And slowly but surely, they want to open up throughout the building.”

Regarding personal protective equipment for library patrons, he said:

“Our approach is going to be to post signs strongly encouraging masks. So the employees intend to wear masks, and they’re going to ask that those who enter the building and that they service also be wearing them.”

Fire Chief Michael McLaughlin, who serves as the township’s emergency management coordinator, reported during the council meeting that he had talked Monday with school district officials about high school commencement, and announced that it is scheduled to take place June 20.

“They’re going to have four groups of 80 students each,” he said. “Each student will get a maximum of two guests. We’re expecting about 240 people per group.”

Ceremony times for each of the groups are at 9 a.m., last names A- Fe; 11 a.m., Fi-L; 1 p.m., last names M-Sh; and 3 p.m., Si-Z. Students and spectators must wear masks and maintain social distancing at all times.

“We’re going to go through our normal processes for emergency management. We’ve been heavily involved in graduation over the last couple of years. This one’s a little different, because the groups are smaller, but the event’s a lot longer,” McLaughlin said, explaining hot weather could cause some issues.

According to the school district, practice for seniors will take place June 19, and for students who are unable to participate in the following day’s event, a makeup date for a photo opportunity at the school will be announced

For more information, visit www.ptsd.k12.pa.us/Commencement2020.aspx.

Multimedia Reporter

Staff writer Harry Funk, a professional journalist for three-plus decades, has been on the staff of The Almanac since 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master of business administration, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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