Master plan illustration

An illustration in the master plan for Rolling Hills Park shows potential amenities in the area near East mcMurray Road.

Peters Township Council voted unanimously Monday to award a contract for an expansive park project on the municipal half of the former Rolling Hills Country Club property, off East McMurray Road.

The total amount of the agreement with low bidder A. Liberoni Inc. of Plum Borough is about $6.95 million, which includes $1.22 million for a public works maintenance garage at the site.

“Liberoni is familiar with the site conditions, is already mobilized, can self-perform all aspects of the work except for the buildings, and is familiar with the owner, having successfully completed several major projects for Peters Township in the past,” Mark Zemaitis, director of engineering, wrote in a letter to township manager Paul Lauer.

Liberoni is the contractor performing site work construction at the new Peters Township High School project, on the school district’s portion of the land sold by the country club in early 2016.

That year, township officials began developing a master plan for what eventually was named Rolling Hills Park, with substantial opportunity for public input. The plan that emerged calls for a variety of amenities, including an enhanced trail system, play and picnic areas, courts for tennis and other games, sledding slopes, a dog park and an aquatic facility.

Expenditures approved by council cover such considerations as demolition of existing buildings, earthwork, topsoil removal and reinstallation, erosion and sedimentation controls, a storm-water and drainage system, sanitary sewer system, water service, parking lots and a “loop road” accessing the park’s interior from the nearly completed Rolling Hills Drive, which connects East McMurray and Center Church roads through roughly the center of the overall property.

Other facets of Liberoni’s work include building a connector to the nearby Arrowhead Trail, constructing pavilions and restrooms, and implementing features at the “Great Lawn” area of open space within the park.

What is listed for the area as a “playhouse-treehouse feature,” which Liberoni bid at $465,000, was dropped from the contract.

“We feel that this feature could be redesigned to significantly reduce the cost” and increase the potential for grant funding,” Zemaitis wrote. “We also feel that it is critical to construct the maintenance garage concurrent with this phase of construction in order to properly maintain these facilities and potential aquatics center.”

In October, council approved an agreement with Kimmel Bogrette of Montgomery County to provide a conceptual plan for an aquatics center, along with a market assessment and the development of a business plan, for $65,500. Kimmel Bogrette submitted a proposed project schedule calling for construction on the aquatics center to begin in May and its opening to the public on Memorial Day 2022.

The township’s Comprehensive Recreation, Park and Open Space Plan, adopted in 2016, has as one of its goals to “provide, maintain, and operate high-quality parks and recreational facilities that are available to all residents.”

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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