Longietti, Brooks announce $325,000 in state grants to aid youth recreation, handicapped accessibility in Hermitage, Sharon

GREENVILLE, Nov. 14 – State Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, and state Sen. Michele Brooks, R-Crawford/Mercer/Erie/Warren, today announced separate grants totaling $325,000 from the Commonwealth Financing Authority’s Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program.

Hermitage is getting $175,000 for construction of its Athletic Complex Phase 3 Expansion, which will add two large, open play fields and new parking facilities, along with an extended trail system.  The project includes excavating/grading, soccer field equipment, benches and bleachers, buffer yard planting, trail paving, drainage, topsoil and seeding.

The Buhl Community and Recreation Center in Sharon is getting $150,000 for installation of an ADA-accessible elevator in its three-story facility that currently has none, which has kept the second and third floors inaccessible to those who are handicapped or have limited mobility.

““Funded through Act 13 and the Greenways, Trails and Recreation program, both of these projects invest in the community and provide health, wellness, and recreational opportunities for our families,” Brooks said. “I thank the local officials for their efforts in applying for this program.”

Longietti said, “These projects will increase recreational opportunities for citizens of all ages in our community and will add to our rich quality of life. I appreciate the partnership between local and state officials in securing these important grants.”

Jason Kmick, executive director of the Sharon facility, said, "The board and staff of the Buhl Community Recreation Center are absolutely thrilled to be awarded this grant.  We strongly believe that our project, once completed, will have an immediate impact and significantly improve the accessibility of our center. The support of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania and our representative Mark Longietti to launch this project has afforded us an opportunity to further our mission and expand our capacity to provide greater access to health and wellness activities for all in our community.”

Kmick added, "There are many people working hard to improve downtown Sharon. Given our location in the heart of downtown we are excited to be a part of that movement. This grant has provided us an opportunity to add to that effort in updating our historic building.”

Gary Gulla, assistant city manager for Hermitage, said, “This project, funded by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, will enable us to construct additional play fields to meet the ever-increasing demand for youth sports facilities – and to further build out the recreational trail system at the complex. Representative Longietti’s efforts to secure the CFA funding will benefit the community by investing in recreational resources for future generations.”