South Fayette preparing for new municipal facility
South Fayette’s municipal building worked wonderfully for what the township once was.
But with rapid growth over the past several years, the building now qualifies as a space with not a whole lot of room.
Between housing a public library, police department and municipal offices, the township has maxed out the 11,000-square-foot facility.
As a result, South Fayette officials plan to take the first step in creating a new municipality complex by moving the public works facility to the Treveskyn site on Morgan Hill Road over the next couple of months.
“We are outgrowing the current space configuration,” said township manager Ryan Eggleston. “It’s not the most conducive for open-interface government. The additional space will allow for continued growth, a better interface and a meeting point for all the residents in the community.”
The initial plans consist of a community center, larger library space, active recreation space and expanded office space for township administrators and the police department.
The project is being funded by the anticipated selling of the former Star City Cinema site to Horizon Properties Group. A signed sales agreement of $5 million for the vacated property, which was originally envisioned as new location for municipal facilities, runs through early November.
According to Eggleston, several thoughts went into keeping the municipal structure out of the former cinema space.
“One of which was a desire from the board to return that main corridor of our commercial stretch onto the tax rolls,” he said. “Horizon and their approach moving forward with tax-producing developments of that site was a big part. The economics of trying to be both wise and prudent about our money is when we made the conscious effort to build a better site here.”
Horizon is continuing to do its due diligence on the property and could ask for an extension beyond the November deadline.
With the public works facility moving as the “pre-phase” part of the project, it will be more centrally located in the township and have better space for materials and equipment, Eggleston said.
The moving of the public works, moving and expansion library and construction of two gymnasiums for recreational will cost approximately $7 million to $8 million. There is no cost estimate to the second phase of the project, which Eggleston said is in the distant future.
That distant future would consist of 60,000 square feet of space, almost five times the amount of room in the current structure.
The newly configured and renovated library, following a flood caused by a drain issue in late July, was covered by insurance and plans to open Oct. 10. But with only 1,900 square feet, space remains an issue.
“The flood allowed us to make some nice aesthetic updates to the public library,” said Eggleston. “It is a temporary solution for the space. Again, we still have a pretty limited area when you put in books and programming.”
The township doesn’t have the project entirely budgeted but will continue to identify sources, sponsors and donators to help with funding.
Eggleston expects to see site development begin in the fall.