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What Upper Macungie's community center could look like — and how much it may cost

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Upper Macungie Township
A rendering of the Upper Macungie Township Community Lifestyle Center.

UPPER MACUNGIE TWP., Pa. — The township’s long-anticipated community center has taken a major step forward.

The Upper Macungie Township Community Fund, the nonprofit raising money for the center, on Thursday presented renderings for what it calls the Upper Macungie Township Community Lifestyle Center.

The township Board of Supervisors then authorized construction management firm Alvin H. Butz to go out to bid for the project, which will give a more concrete cost estimate.

“This is long incoming," said Kathy Rader, former supervisor and member of the Community Fund. "We've been working on this for almost a decade.”

“It will quickly become the region's largest and best facility of its kind, an accessible space that will truly offer something for every resident."
Vice Chair of the Community Fund Laura McHugh

The 180,000-square-foot indoor recreational facility would be in Grange Park. It would have a turf field, two multipurpose courts, meeting spaces and a concession stand, the renderings show.

Building the community center is estimated to cost about $50 million.

Community Fund Vice Chairwoman Laura McHugh said the nonprofit has secured $20 million in committed funds and has $16 million in pending grant funding.

It now will start a public fundraising push, McHugh said.

'Largest and best facility of its kind'

It is estimated the center will draw a half million people every year from across the region and generate “more than enough revenue to sustain itself” once built, according to McHugh.

“It will quickly become the region's largest and best facility of its kind, an accessible space that will truly offer something for every resident,” she said.

Township supervisors first voted to move forward with building a community center in 2011, with a goal of it being completed in 2017.

McHugh said the Community Fund aims to hold a ceremonial groundbreaking by the end of the summer.

What will the center be like?

McHugh said the “centerpiece” of the community center will be a 130,000 square foot turf field.

“Just to put that scope in perspective, that's the size of about three regulation soccer fields put together,” McHugh said.

Upper Macungie Township
An overhead view of the proposed Upper Macungie Community Center.

The field would have a walking trail around it and a small fitness center above it.

Lehigh Valley Health Network plans to equip the fitness center and provide health programming such as screenings, educational seminars, nutrition classes and vaccination clinics.

Hugh said the two multipurpose courts in the renderings could be used for basketball, volleyball, pickleball and community gatherings not related to sports.

The center also would have meeting spaces designed to be flexible with dividing walls, concessions and free public wifi.

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Upper Macungie Township
Rendering of the concessions at the Upper Macungie Township Community Lifestyle Center.

McHugh said the community center would become the largest emergency shelter space in Lehigh County.

Township Manager Robert Ibach said the rates for using the center have not been determined, but the township will try to keep costs “as minimal as possible” for residents.

Industrial building expansions

Supervisors on Thursday also approved plans for two industrial building expansions.

The first was a preliminary/final plan for an expansion of ATAS International, a metal wall and roof manufacture, at 6642 Grant Way.

The expansion would add about 53,900 square feet, doubling the size of the building.

ATAS International Vice President Jim Bus said in February that the expansion would add about four truck trips per day, adding up to about 24 total round-trip truck trips.

He said a traffic review found no significant impact to nearby intersections.

The second was a preliminary plan for proposed expansion of XPO Logistics, a trucking terminal at 7649 Penn Drive. The expansion would be about 19,800 square feet.