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New community center plan presented


Special to The Press

Laura McHugh, vice chairwoman of the nonprofit Upper Macungie Community Fund, gave a video presentation of the proposed Upper Macungie community center during the supervisors’ June 6 meeting.

The center, to be located in Grange Park, would be a large facility with a variety of amenities, including an indoor turf field, walking track, multi-use courts, community rooms and fitness areas.

The center would be accessible to residents of all ages and abilities.

The project has been in development for over a decade and has the support of a number of community partners, including Lehigh Valley Health Network, Jaindl Farms, A-Treat and Alvin H. Butz.

These partners have committed to investing in the center and providing programming and services.

Community fund members asked supervisors to approve taking the project out to bid so they can get a better sense of the costs involved.

The group has already secured $20 million in funding from community partners.

The estimated cost is about $50 million.

With the project approved, the Community Fund plans to begin a public fundraising effort in order to break ground on the center by the end of the summer.

McHugh said the center will improve the quality of life for residents in the township and attract visitors from other areas.

The community center would provide a place for people to connect, recreate and learn.

Later, during the meeting, supervisors unanimously approved motions that will advertise bids for the project to determine construction costs and allow the township manager and staff to negotiate with prospective contributing partners of the community center for agreements related to operations of the center.

“It’s beautiful,” Vice Chairman Sunny Ghai said. “It is a beast if you will call it out. It is massive.

“It’s obviously like any beast you have to feed the beast. It’s going to need a lot of resources obviously.”

Supervisor James Brunell added his thoughts.

“At the moment it does look like once built, it will be self-supporting,” Brunell. “I think the major climb is just getting it off the ground and getting a roof over head and get going.”

To see the video presentation for the community center, go to the township’s YouTube channel at uppermac.org.

PRESS PHOTOS COURTESY UPPER MACUNGIE TOWNSHIP A rendering of the proposed Upper Macungie Township Community Center in Grange Park.
A rendering of the interior turf field of the proposed Upper Macungie Township Community Center.