Price Field Westmont Hilltop

The Westmont Hilltop School Board approved a plan Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, to spend $70,000 to study renovations for Price Field, seen above and below, the home of Westmont Hilltop’s football and track teams.

Westmont Hilltop residents gathered in the elementary school Tuesday to get more information about the upcoming Price Field renovations.

For Southmont homeowner David Finney, the answers he heard from the group of representatives, including Straw Construction, ELA Sport Inc. and Musco Sports Lighting, among others, were good.

“It’s about time this happened,” he said about the improvements, “and to have an all-purpose field is outstanding.”

Westmont Hilltop School District has begun renovation of the Price Field complex at the elementary with a budget of about $7.5 million.

The project scope includes an artificial field, new track, lighting, sound system and repositioning the complex so it’s parallel to Menoher Boulevard.

Finney is the supervisor of campus grounds at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and attended to get more information on the renovations, especially the artificial turf being installed.

He said the new and improved Price Field will be a “great asset for the community.”

Thomas Mitchell, district superintendent, ran the meeting and provided background and other information to the roughly 20 attendees.

“With this project, we wanted to make sure we reached out to the neighbors,” he said.

The topics Mitchell covered ranged from a timeline to installation of bathrooms – 18 total – and the parking situation.

Westmont is in the permit and variance stage at this time and anticipates completion of the project in April of 2022 and is working with community partners to handle the last item.

As for the lighting system, Kyle Smith from Musco told the attendees that the new LED fixtures would be taller than the elementary school by around 30 feet and angled toward the field with hoods to limit spray.

“We want to illuminate the field but not the neighborhood,” he said.

The district is also applying for variances for the bathrooms and light pole heights with the borough.

Residents asked questions about fencing, if the amenities will be open after school hours – they will – and construction vehicle routes.

Andy Waligora, who lives across from the field, attended Tuesday’s gathering because he wanted to know what was involved in the project.

“I know more now than when I came in,” he said after the meeting.

Waligora was one of the residents who expressed concern about the fencing around the field and if it would be moved.

Throughout the event, residents brought up rumors they’d been told, and toward the end of the evening, Mitchell invited the group to contact the district about any aspect of the renovations so they can receive correct information.

Joshua Byers is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @Journo_Josh.

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