Aquatic center

Ava Zannoni of Kimmel Bogrette Architecture + Site developer renderings of an aquatic center prior to Peters Township Council's rejection of all bids for construction.

Four sessions of open houses are scheduled to obtain public input with regard to a new aquatic center in Peters Township’s Rolling Hills Park.

The drop-in events are scheduled for 1:30 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 1, and 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 2, in council chambers at the municipal building.

Paul Lauer, township manager, said during Monday’s council meeting the intention is to “make sure that we give people opportunities to come in, to examine the design and offer comments.”

“What we have found in the past is this is a far more meaningful way to get public input than at a public hearing,” he said. “People have a chance to interact and talk and provide information that you don’t get at public hearings.”

In March, council voted to reject all bids, the lowest at $11.482 million, for construction of the aquatic center, citing amounts that came in higher than anticipated. Township officials subsequently met with representatives of design services contractor Kimmel Bogrette Architecture + Site of Montgomery County to revise the concept.

The open houses will feature panels featuring new design possibilities, along with other visuals, and a survey will be available for those in attendance to complete.

Council member Monica Merrell requested that other information be available, such as plans to market the center as a regional draw, to help provide context for survey questions such as: Are you in favor of constructing a community outdoor aquatic facility?

“The word ‘community’ has a different connotation to a lot of people who have personally spoken to me about it,” she said.

Frank Arcuri, another council member, called for further details to be on hand.

“I think that you need to have the cost of the project revealed,” he said. “I think you have to have the impact on millage and how much it would raise, per $100,000 valuation of a house, their taxes.”

Detailed information about the project, including renderings, is available at www.peterstownship.com/488/Proposed-Rolling-Hills-Park-Aquatic-Cent.

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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