West Penn Recreation Center 2015 Programs


West Penn Recreation Center has released their 2015 program guide with new programs for kids and adults.

Exercise rooms
Open 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Mon – Fri,  10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturdays.  Fee: $5/month for unlimited visits.

Athletic Trauma Unit (Mondays 8-9 p.m.)
A workout group dedicated to help everyone reach their own personal fitness goals.  Free.

Girls Volleyball
Ages 9-16.  Registration and info meeting January 5th 7 p.m.  Fee:  $20.

Yoga    (Mondays 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.)
Starting in January, with instructor Caitlin Laskey of Pittsburgh Yoga Collective..  Fee:  $20 for 12 sessions.

Bocce Ball League (Wednesdays 10 – 12 p.m. )
Starting Jan. 7.  For adults 18 and over.  Fee:  $10 for the season.

Youth/Teen Karate  (Wednesdays and Fridays)
Co-ed groups 8-11 yr (6-7 p.m.) and 12-17 yr (7-8 p.m.).  Fee:  $20/12 sessions

Kindersports (Tuesdays 10 – 11 a.m.)
Starting in February.  For kids 0-5 years old and a parent.  Fee:  $20/12 sessions.

Youth Soccer (Fridays 6-7 p.m.)
Starting in February.  Co-ed ages 6-8.  Fee:  $10.

And coming up this spring and summer,
Sand Volleyball (starting in June)
Summer Sports Camp, a weeklong camp focusing on single sports, including basketball, volleyball, soccer, skateboarding, and more.

All fees go to the West Penn Advisory Council to benefit youth programming and equipment needs.  Check out the West Penn 2015 Program Guide for more details.  To register for any program or for more information, call 412.622.7353 or email steve.rothhaar@pittsburghpa.gov.

The pool opens today!

The pool’s been filled for a couple weeks now.  The water might still be a bit cold, but now’s the time to get down there and get your pool tags.   (You can also purchase a pool tag at the Citiparks office in the City-County Building, 4th Floor, 414 Grant Street, Downtown Pittsburgh, or  at any Citiparks pool during operating hours.)

Cost for City of Pittsburgh residents (proof of residency required):
$60 – family of four, and $10 – each additional family member.  Remember, your pool ‘family’ doesn’t have to actually be family, or live at the same address.  Just designate one person to go buy the tags for your ‘family’, then share the savings.
$30 – for an individual adult (16 years and older)
$15 – youth (3 – 15 years old), and free  for children 2 and under.

For city residents who are disabled veterans and families of active duty military and activated reservist/guard members, pool tags are available at no cost. Proper ID is required.  City of Pittsburgh residents who receive welfare benefits can buy tags at a 50% discount.  A case print-out and proof of identity are required to receive the discount.

If you just want to swim for a day, you can pay daily admission ticket at any pool. The cost is $3 for children ages 3 – 15 and $4 for individuals 16 and older.

The pool is open Mondays – Fridays from 1:00 – 7:45 p.m.,  and Saturdays, Sundays & holidays from 1:00 – 5:45 p.m.  Adult lap swim (for individuals 16 years and older) is at 5 – 6 p.m. Monday – Friday, and noon – 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.  Click here for more information on Citiparks pools.

Polish Hill residents are lucky to have one of the nicest pools in the city.  We hope to see you there this summer!

Who is illegally dumping refuse in West Penn Park?

Many truckloads of waste — a mixture of excavation debris, trash, building materials, landscaping debris, and tires —  were recently dumped in West Penn Park, covering a sizable section of the lower parking lot off the ball field.  All of the heaps and drifts of material in the photo above are dumped refuse.  A lot of garbage has also been thrown over the hillside.

This location is attractive to dumpers because it is hidden from view from any road or nearby buildings.  The site is accessed from the the far end of the neighborhood, around Stockholm street, where there are few houses.

Illegal dumping has been a problem at this location for years.  The site is repeatedly cleaned up by neighborhood volunteers and Allegheny Cleanways, but the dumpers keep returning.  This is particularly regrettable because West Penn Park is one of Polish Hill’s biggest assets.  This unusually large green area, with a wide range of native plants and trees, will soon become part of the City’s Greenway.  It’s distressing to see that there are people who see this beautiful park only as a place to dump trash.

West Penn staff has been informed of the situation and will be working with the PHCA to identify who is doing this.  We are asking all residents who use the field, walk their dogs in the park, or just hike in that area, to keep an eye out.  It is illegal for anyone to dump anywhere in West Penn Park.  If you see anyone dumping waste here, whether they are individuals, private companies, or even City workers, please note any information that will help us identify the culprits.

A free neighborhood resource to help you stay fit during the winter months

Perhaps you’ve looked at the growing darkness and increasingly glum weather and wondered how you’re going to stay fit this winter.  We’d like to remind you about a free option right here in Polish Hill:  the West Penn Community Recreation Center.  West Penn is a Citiparks facility, which means that the basic exercise facilities —  including the weight room and a room with exercise machines, are free for all Pittsburgh residents.

There are also a few classes, for which there are small fees.  This includes the PHCA-sponsored Hatha Yoga class on Thursdays at 6:30 pm, with a $7 suggested donation.  West Penn also has a full size gym, which is regularly reserved by one or another of the various groups that use the facilities.

West Penn’s fall hours are 10:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Monday – Friday, and 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays; the center is closed on Sundays.  The first time you visit, you’ll be asked to register, a process that only takes a couple minutes, and then you’ll have a plastic card to show on subsequent visits.

The facilities are basic, nothing fancy, but the staff is available to help if you need assistance in getting started.  And it’s in the neighborhood — many residents can easily walk to the center.  And did we mention it’s free?  Polish Hill is one of only ten Pittsburgh neighborhoods that have a Citiparks recreation center.  We encourage you to check it out.  For more information about West Penn facilities or classes, or renting space, contact center director Shawn Schreckengost at 412.622.7353.

(Above:  the newly renovated room with exercise machines at West Penn Recreation Center)

Planning underway for Halloween kids event

That spooky time of year is drawing close, and the PHCA has been working with West Penn staff on our annual Halloween event for kids.  This year we’re returning to the abandoned tennis courts to do an new version of the haunted trail that was so popular two years ago.  There will be activities and a scary-lite trail earlier in the evening for the younger kids, and scarier experience for the older kids (and former kids) later on.  We’ll get more information out about times and other details as things firm up.

We are still in need of volunteers to help out.  Jobs include cleaning up the site ahead of time, making props and sets, assisting in setting up the trail, dressing in costume and playing a part, or helping lead groups through the trail.

We’re also looking for donations of materials to make the scary sets and props, candy and treats, and little pumpkins.    If you’re interested in being involved, please email phcapgh@gmail.com or call us at 412.681.1950.

(Above:  costumed actors from the 2009 haunted trail at West Penn)

Yoga at West Penn: staying balanced and bendy since 2009

Since fall of 2009, the PHCA has collborated with West Penn Community Recreation Center to offer a donation-based Hatha yoga class for adults.  The class, taught by Ilona Auth, is on Thursday evenings from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.  The suggested donation is just $7 (though you can pay less).

These small, friendly classes are suitable  for beginners and those who have some yoga experience.  If you don’t own a mat yet, there are mats available.  Just bring water, and wear clothes that allow unrestricted movement.  We hope to see you there!

(above:  the yoga class at West Penn, May 2010)

Facilities news from West Penn Recreation Center

Shawn Shreckengost, the director of West Penn Community Recreation Center, just updated us about what’s  going on at the center lately.  First, he asked us to mention their free breakfast and lunch program for kids.  Breakfast is from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and lunch is from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and is for youth under 18 years of age.

In other news, the back rooms off the basketball court are currently being renovated.  When work on  the spaces is finished, there will be new air conditioned cardio and game rooms.  That will open up the old cardio room (the dance studio near the admissions desk) for dance/aerobics, martial arts, or yoga.  The back part of this room will also be used as a boxing room with new boxing equipment.  The space could also be used for movie nights.

If you haven’t been to the center in a while, or have yet to visit, please consider stopping by to check it out.  The facilities are basic, but they’re convenient and (except for classes), it’s free.  You can check our info page on West Penn for a list of current classes.

To learn more about the center or the free food program, contact West Penn at 412.622.7353 with any questions or check out the Citiparks Community Recreation Centers page for more information.


West Penn Pool, looking back

The pool’s been open for almost a week now — have you gotten your passes yet?  The pool we know and love is actually the third West Penn pool; the original opened on June 7, 1930 and the dedication was attended by a big crowd.  This series of images are part of the Historic Pittsburgh Image Collection, and were taken by a Pittsburgh City photographer.  Perhaps some of our older residents will see a familiar face.

The final photo is actually labeled as Lawrenceville, but the same kids are visible, and it’s clearly the same event as the photo above.

Pre-Schoolers of Polish Hill

There’s a new generation starting to show up in Polish Hill, and a couple of parents have started a new playgroup, Pre-Schoolers of Polish Hill.  Here’s what Jennie Benford, one of the moms involved, says:

“I’m trying to start a network of Polish Hill families that have pre-school aged kids. After all, what good is a neighborhood if you don’t have any runnin’ buddies?  If you have a preschooler (2-5 years) who could use some more friends within walking distance, please consider signing up!  The first modest goal will be setting up a playdate at the rec center so the kids can run around inside where its warm. If you’re interested, sign up here”.

The first playdate has been set for Thursday, December 30 from 2-3 p.m. in the gym at the Citiparks West Penn Community Recreation Center (located at 30th and Paulowna Streets in Polish Hill).  The recreation center will provide whiffle balls, and some parents will bring tricycles and other items.

Jennie asks that you RSVP so they know who to expect. You can RSVP by email to JennieB(at)bust.com or call 412-683-9329.  The play group has also started a Facebook group, where you can receive first-hand information about upcoming events.