A newsmaker you should know: Hempfield's recreation director wants to spotlight facilities
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Just a few weeks into his role as the new director of Parks and Recreation for Hempfield, Jason Winters said he realizes the need to make people aware of what the department has to offer.
"We have top notch facilities and programs," said Mr. Winters, 29, of North Huntingdon, who started July 9.
He comes to Hempfield from Saint Vincent College in Unity where, for the past five years, he served as coordinator of campus life. That experience, he said, helps him plan programs and events for the Hempfield community.
"In general, I'd like to provide events for everyone. ...The township is so large, [programs] can't be at just one location," he said.
The township is 76.8 square miles and home to 40,721 residents, according to the latest U.S. Census.
The Hempfield Rec Department has a $1 million budget funded by the township and its programs' participation fees. The department oversees facilities at the main athletic complex at Hempfield Park on Forbes Trail, and the smaller Swede Hill Park at Willow Crossing.
Many of the department's activities occur at Hempfield Park. The site has lighted tennis courts, soccer fields, picnic pavilions and the athletic complex with indoor basketball courts, a track, multipurpose playing fields and concession stands.
"I'd like to make requesting such facilities available online," so people can immediately see the availability, Mr. Winters said.
He will also oversee every sport program the township offers, including basketball, soccer, wrestling, football and cheerleading, swim classes, camps and clinics. For adults, the department offers bus trips to various attractions, such as casinos.
He said he is already attending meetings to plan what he called the highlight of the summer: Community Days on Sept. 8-9.
Mr. Winters is looking forward to learning every detail of the job with his new staff of four full-time employees and various part-timers.
"We're just all excited to move forward and make this a premier department," he said.
Mr. Winters, who makes $45,000 a year, replaced Dean Minerva, who resigned last year after years on the job.
"The staff has been without a director for months. Staff [members] are looking for someone to represent them in the community and to handle the budgeting and management side of things," he said.
First Published August 16, 2012 4:52 am