For years, Doylestown Township held some park and recreation activities and classes in a large room with a kitchen and bathrooms on its Wells Road property. It also served as a polling place.
After two years of planning and public input, the township is moving forward with plans to build a 16,000-square-foot recreation center for the community that will include a gym, three multi-purpose rooms and a large patio that overlooks Central Park, said Stephanie Mason, the township’s manager. The patio can be rented for special events and will also be used for dog training classes and art classes.
The new center, which will be built where the current tennis and basketball courts are, can also be used as “shelter-in-place” space for residents, something residents expressed a need for, Mason said. More parking will also be added.
A recent $1 million grant from Pennsylvania’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program to support the multi-million dollar project was “a really big accomplishment,” said Mason. She thanked all those who helped secure it, including state lawmakers, township officials and staff. “It was a team effort,” she said.
“We’re very excited to be the recipient of the RACP grant,” said the manger. “We thank Sen. Steve Santarsiero and Rep. Shelby Labs.”
Bids are expected to go out by the end of the year for the project’s engineering and design, and groundbreaking should be next spring, Mason said.
Other improvements are also coming to expand the township’s recreational spaces. The park’s Field One will be turned into tennis, basketball and pickle ball courts, at a cost of approximately $1.2 million, Mason said.
The total cost of the recreation center is expected to be between $7 million and $8 million, the manager said.
Barbara Lyons, chair of the township’s board of supervisors, said the community center, “will be a great benefit to the township and the larger community. A healthy park and recreation system builds a healthier community.”