Improvements slated for South Park Fairgrounds Oval

Published Jan 24, 2013 at 10:51 am (Updated Jan 24, 2013 at 11:16 am)

The South Park Fairgrounds Oval will be undergoing major changes this year.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, who attended a Jan. 23 meeting of the Friends of South Park, explained that a project for improvements around the South Park Fairgrounds Oval is funded and “moving forward.”

Improvements to the fairgrounds oval include three improved ball fields, improved open spaces for soccer and football and movable bleachers. He said the old “dangerous deteriorating concrete grandstand steps” will be demolished. The track around the oval will remain, but improvements will be made.

The $1 million project will be funded by Allegheny County and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources with $500,000 coming from each.

“We are excited the oval project is going to be completed next year,” Fitzgerald told the group at the meeting. He said “there’s a lot more we need to do,” but the oval improvements is a good step forward.

A public meeting is planned at 7 p.m. Jan. 30 at the South Park Home Economics Buildings. Pashek Associates will present the design options for the South Park Fairgrounds Oval improvements. An open forum and public discussion to gather input will follow the presentation.

Some members of the Friends of South Park spoke at the meeting offering some suggestions for the project. Sharon Adams wanted to know if the concrete steps will be totally removed.

“A lot of people run those steps,” Adams said. Darla Caravotta, special projects coordinator for Allegheny County, said that the steps “were determined to be very dangerous,” and will be demolished.

Tom Woods asked if the project will be done by local public works departments. Fitzgerald said the entire project will be going out for bid.

Construction on the project is expected to begin this fall, sometime after Labor Day. It is expected to be complete by spring 2014.

After the meeting, Fitzgerald said other projects down the road for the park include trail improvements this summer. He added, “We’ve got to evaluate buildings,” including the clock tower and storage buildings.

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