South Fayette breaks ground for new athletic fields
South Fayette Township broke ground on three new, yet-to-be-named athletic fields Tuesday morning.
The multipurpose fields off Seminary Avenue will sit on a 21-acre site and will provide recreational opportunities for South Fayette’s growing population with its expected completion in fall of 2017.
“Our township is growing,” Ray Pitetti, board of commissioners vice president and parks and recreation liaison, said during the groundbreaking ceremony. “We’ve had to kind of scramble for the past couple of years trying to find enough places for our kids to play.”
The three new fields will give South Fayette residents a total of eight for their use, recreation director Paula Simmons said. The addition will provide flexibility to teams that are searching for space or renting from the school district, and to bring tournaments to the area.
Carl Helbling, president of the South Fayette Soccer Association and a member of the township parks and recreation board, is looking forward to the new fields helping to accommodate the 500 kids in the soccer program. The South Fayette football, lacrosse and cheerleading associations also will use the fields.
Half a mile of paved walkways will connect the three fields to access roads and roughly 110 parking spaces, but the tree-lined, scenic surroundings of the site will remain undisturbed. A farm act protects the adjacent land from development.
“What you see is what you’re going to get,” township manager Ryan Eggleston said. “The pristine nature preserve is what you’ll see.”
Residents’ and sports clubs’ access to the fields will benefit the township, but beyond green space, Helbling is also hoping the new space will be a place to make lasting memories, like those he has of fields in South Fayette he played on while young.
“I’m hoping these fields will lead to generations of memories for our kids and their kids,” he said, “and that they keep coming back as this community continues to grow.”