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GREENVILLE, PA. Council investigates sports complex



Published: Sun, February 24, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The opening date for the sports facility is uncertain.

By LAURI GALENTINE

VINDICATOR CORRESPONDENT

GREENVILLE, Pa. -- Council members won't call the attorney general about the sports complex problems just yet, one borough lawmaker says.

Councilman David P. Henderson said council prefers to complete its own investigation and get the problems fixed without bringing the courts into the matter. "It's a last resort for us," he added.

The residents committee that worked on plans for the project and is now keeping an eye on its progress had recommended calling the state law enforcement office to investigate cost overruns and construction problems at the West Salem Township site, said Erik S. Bielata, director of the Greenville Area Leisure Services Association and a committee member.

"We want them to come and finish the job," Henderson said of project engineers Pashek & amp; Associates, Pittsburgh, and contractors Marucci & amp; Gaffney Excavating, Youngstown, and Totin Construction, Sharpsville, which worked on the 42-acre complex.

Delays: The sports complex, originally estimated to cost $1.7 million when the project began in 1999, has met with more than 15 months of delays, Bielata said.

It was originally scheduled to open last summer, he added.

Bielata said the project is now about $200,000 over budget and is showing signs of design or construction flaws.

Although he and Henderson are both optimistic the facility could open by the new target date of April 1, both concede it may not happen.

Henderson said borough solicitor Warren Keck III is checking into the legalities of opening the complex if all the problems have not been corrected.

Council also is investigating the cost overrun.

Additional project: In the meantime, the sports complex problems have put another recreational project on hold, Bielata said. The construction of a paved trail linking Riverside Park in the borough to the sports complex will have to wait, he said. The trail was to provide an alternative path for borough residents who wished to walk or bicycle to the complex so they wouldn't have to risk the traffic on state Route 58 where the complex is located, Bielata said.

Construction problems at the complex include a tendency for flooding at a sewage holding tank near the concession stands; an in-ground electrical water pumping system that is underwater; no topsoil on the softball fields; holes in the outfields at the softball fields; water runoff paths from the hills that don't follow the design plan; a broken window in the garage door of the maintenance building; and cracks in the walls and floor of the maintenance building.

When it is finally completed, the complex will feature four soccer fields, three softball fields, a 1-mile-loop walking trail, concession stands and restrooms, Bielata said.




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