Peters Twp. Council votes to raze Rolling Hills Country Club
The end is near for the clubhouse at the former Rolling Hills Country Club.
Peters Township Council voted unanimously July 10 to raze the structure, which started its existence as a 19th-century farmhouse and underwent multiple renovations while serving the club following its establishment after World War II.
“I think I’ve made my feeling on that issue pretty clear in the past,” Councilman Frank Kosir Jr. said, “and rereading the architect’s report, I don’t see any justification for keeping it.”
The evaluation to which he referred, which is based on facility assessments performed in the winter by Tower Engineering of Ross Township and RSSC Architecture of Pine Township, includes various estimates on the potential cost of reconstructing the building to put it in compliance with International Building Code and Americans With Disabilities Act standards. Estimates range from $2.5 million to $5 million.
“Frankly, the costs of completing all of this work, including the removal of any asbestos-containing materials, could rapidly approach the cost of a new, properly designed, code-compliant building that would be ‘right-sized’ for the township’s needs,” the evaluation states.
“While there is a considerable amount of emotion surrounding this building and the history of the Rolling Hills Country Club,” the report continues, “we cannot recommend the expenditure of the amounts necessary to restore this building to a code-compliant status.”
The steering committee formed to focus on the future the Rolling Hills site, where plans call for a new Peters Township High School complex and municipal park, had recommended demolishing the clubhouse.
“The committee couldn’t identify any type of community programming that would warrant retaining the structure,” township manager Paul Lauer said at the council meeting. “And finally, the committee was concerned that, given the location of the structure, it might compromise other aspects of the site design, including the roadway and access onto the property.”
Peters Township School District officials have expressed no interest in retaining the clubhouse, either. The building could be used for training exercise by the township fire and police departments prior to demolition.
Lauer reported that the steering committee, which met June 27, also addressed several other considerations with regard to the site, including whether space should be reserved in what will become Peters Hill Park for an outdoor community pool.
“Whether that gets built now or later wasn’t the discussion, but rather, would you reserve space so that a pool could be built at some future date?” he said. “And the answer was unanimously yes.”
Committee members also agreed on an area being put aside for a future racquet sports center.
“This is an area where we have a facility that is shared by the school district, and it would make sense to have this close to the high school, as well,” Lauer said.
The park should be designed to accommodate Peters Township Community Day more effectively, the committee agreed, and the property line separating the municipal and school district portions of the site should be drawn to accommodate the needs of the district in terms of developing the high school complex.