Coaldale field to be used for sports
State grant will turn site into volleyball courts, recreation use.
May 26, 2006|By Sarah Fulton Special to The Morning Call - Freelance
A field in Coaldale at its border with Lansford will be turned into volleyball courts and an all-purpose athletic field that would provide recreation for area residents under a plan of Coaldale Borough Council and the Eastern Schuylkill Recreation Commission.
Beach volleyball's popularity spikes -- far from the shore...(in Coaldale)
Coaldale inaugurates play at its new park.
July 10, 2008|By Lisa Price Special to The Morning Call - Freelance
If there's a better way to unite communities than through recreation, don't tell Jason Boris.
Boris, who heads the Eastern Schuylkill Recreation Commission in Tamaqua, might not be able to hear you, what with all the shouts and thwacks of hands on volleyballs on summer nights in Coaldale.
Boris and other community leaders last week formally dedicated the town's Black Diamond Park on E. Phillips Street, which includes a parking area and beach volleyball court.
Teams with members from Coaldale, Nesquehoning, Lansford and Tamaqua were scheduled to play three games tonight, meaning that at least 60 people would leave footprints in the sand in Coaldale. The commission's summer volleyball league plays Tuesdays and Thursdays at the park.
"This is going to become a recreational hub with a lot of potential," Boris said. "We have space to do more and we're within a half mile from the Lansford swimming pool and playground area."
Boris said expansion plans include more parking, a baseball/softball field, a basketball court and horseshoe pits.
In 2003, Coaldale joined the commission, which until then included the six municipalities in Tamaqua Area School District. Coaldale, in the Panther Valley School District, was the first municipality from outside to join. Middleport, part of the Saint Clair Area School District, also recently joined.
The commission applied for a state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources grant on behalf of Coaldale in September 2003 and was awarded $34,000 -- $27,000 plus a $7,000 local match -- in 2004.
Originally, the commission planned a crushed-stone, quarter-mile walking track, but changed plans after the Panther Valley football stadium, a half-mile away, added a walking track in 2005.
"Two walking tracks in such a short proximity didn't make much sense," Boris said.
Mother Nature stepped in, and in June 2006 flood waters ruined the sand volleyball court at Tamaqua's Howard Beuehler Memorial Pool, leaving the commission's summer league with no place to practice, play or have tournaments.
Coaldale's 5.6-acre plot was perfect, but who would build the court?
Peter Radocha & Sons of Coaldale not only was low bidder on the project, but also donated $7,060 in labor and equipment -- the entire amount needed for the local match to get the state grant, Boris said.
"Michael Radocha was a tremendous asset to the completion of this project," Boris said.
It was the company's first volleyball court project, Boris said.
Coaldale Borough Council President Sue Solt said volleyball is a great sport because it can be played with almost any number of people and by all ages.
The court is seeing nearly constant use, she said.
"Since the court has been here there is so much activity," she said. "And when the games are going on, there are chairs lined up in rows with people watching."
Solt said the commission "has really found the diamond in the rough. This park has brought life into the town."