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Regional Park Planning Hearing #1 Summary

Wed., Oct. 22, 2008, 7:30 – 9:00 PM at
Mt. Nittany Middle School Cafeteria, 656 Brandywine Drive, State College 16801

 

Welcome and Introductions:               (Total attendance 51 including 2 staff members)

Ronald J. Woodhead, CRPR Director, welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced the members of the Regional Park Planning Committee and the Project Consultants:

• Regional Park Committee from Ad Hoc Regional Park Committee: Dan Klees, College Township; Dick Mascolo, Ferguson Township; James Rosenberger, Borough of State College; Dan Sieminiski, Penn State University

• Regional Park Committee from Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority: Sue Mascolo, Ferguson Township; Roy Harpster, Harris Township

• Municipal Managers: Adam Brumbaugh, College Township; Mark Kunkle, Ferguson Township

• Staff members: Ronald J. Woodhead, CRPR Director; Jeff Hall, Recreation Supervisor-Sports & Fitness

• Project Consultants:   Jim Pashek, Dan Jones

            Mr. Jim Pashek, Pashek Associates reviewed the goals for the meeting and answered the question “What is a Master Site Plan.”  The Master Site Plan is really three or four sections;
1)  public process of collecting information and ideas;
2) analysis process where you inventory what is available on the site (both physically and culturally);
3) start design, giving form to the ideas and comments that have been made;
4) finding the costs and prioritizing.
He then reviewed what has been done so far to obtain information and comments.

              Mr. Dan Jones, Pashek Associates, reviewed each regional park site; Oak Hall Parklands, 68 acres and Whitehall Road parklands, 75 acres.    He talked about the soils, access, slopes, location, surroundings, and the specifics of each site (potentials and challenges). While public input regarding the regional parks will be used for both sites, the immediate focus will be on the Master Site Plan for the Oak Hall parklands.

               Mr. Pashek then outlined a process so that everyone would have the opportunity to provide their suggestions for facilities at the new parks.  In addition written comments will be accepted at each hearing and be incorporated into the record.  He distributed cards to those attending and asked them to write on their cards - “What facilities would you like to see developed at the regional parks?”  When the participants finished writing, Mr. Pashek asked these participants to share one thing they had written on their card.  These facilities are listed below with the ranking chosen by the participants.

COG Regional Park Master Plans

Public Suggestions (ranked) on Wed., 22 Oct 08 at Mount Nittany Middle School

Votes

Key Issues and Recommended Facilities for the Regional Parks

12

 Oak Hall intersection - difficult, steep entrance

10

 Soccer fields - lots (6) full size, lights

9

 Unprogrammed space

9

 Jogging trail & walking trails - natural surface preferred

8

 Oak Hall - Picnic areas / shelters, open space; Whitehall Road - athletics

8

 Concerned with lights, especially sports field lighting - Oak Hall, rural character

7

 Picnic shelters, playground - (3) w/capacity for 20 people w/wind wall ( Fort Bellefonte shelter)

7

 Restrictions - Water quality, Spring Creek stormwater management

7

 Community garden - fence, perennials & vegetables, 2-3 acres ( Whitehall Rd. ) sunny

6

 Fence to adjacent farm property at Oak Hall

6

 Natural heritage - back to history; tell the story through interpretive signs and programs

6

 Year-round tennis facilities - bubble cover

6

 Steeper areas - natural habitat trails, protect steep slopes from more intensive development

5

 Bikes use Lincoln - bike access - Atherton St. bikeway - some park users will arrive via bicycle

4

 Baseball fields - Little Leagues, storage, lighting

4

  Harris Township - Wind generator; consider for these parks

4

 Small stage - lawn, capacity to host 1-200 people

4

 Attractive permanent entry point - Second access Oak Hall

3

 Basketball courts: (4) lighted

2

 Gym, lots of things (hub), serve many functions, classrooms, year-round use - Volleyball, indoor soccer, basketball, interpretive center

2

 Wooded lot at Whitehall Park - preserve

2

 Bird watch blind / platform near wooded areas of both parks

2

 Remote-controlled airplane airfield, 8 acres, shelter

2

 Volleyball courts:  (2) sand

2

 Mini-golf course

2

 Remote-controlled cars, paved area

2

 Concessions stand

2

 Nighttime security

2

 Softball fields (4) - Junior girls

1

 Cross-country skiing trails

1

 Ice skating rink

1

 Bocce courts

1

 Fitness stations along trail

 

 Sledding hill (lighting)

 

  Dog Park : Water, shelter, kiosk w/info, benches, scooper bags

 

 Bus access near site; may allow less parking

 

 Hot air balloon launch area

 

 Skate park - street course

 

 Frisbee golf course

 

 Maintenance facility

 

 Restrooms

 

           Mr. Pashek then reviewed the next steps.  The suggestions from tonight’s meeting will be listed by priority and will be posted on the website (shown above).  There is a meeting tomorrow night, then the park planning committee will meet.  He reviewed the statistics of the surveys so far: approximately 21% of the paper surveys were returned.  The paper and website survey results will be complied, reviewed and posted on the CRPR website (HERE). Watch the website around January for the dates of additional meetings where some of the ideas and concepts will be shared.  The question was asked as to the time frames for Oak Hall and for Whitehall Road .  Mr. Pashek replied that he is hoping by the end of spring that there is a clear indication of what will be done at Oak Hall.  Mr. Woodhead indicated that there are no plans yet for construction but he is hoping that plans for the Whitehall Road parkland will be available in a year. The question was asked if there will be a point where you could voice your negative opinions.  Mr. Jones suggested that the person email her concerns to Mr. Woodhead.  Mr. Pashek asked everyone to encourage their friends to attend the meeting tomorrow night (23 Oct 08). 

Funding assistance to acquire the regional parklands and to prepare the Master Site Plans has been provided by the five participating municipalities and by a grant from PA DCNR "Community Conservation Partnership Program.”

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The CRPR Authority is a publicly-funded, municipal agency serving 5 municipalities since 1966. The Authority also maintains 501c3 status.
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