Work began this week on Phase II of Bethel Park’s Cool Springs Sports Complex, a plan to breathe new life into the 45-year-old community staple and bring additional sports facilities for all ages to the South Hills.

“[Workers] are ready to lay the footer for the steel frame; then they will begin work on the building in late winter,” said Tara Friedl, chief of staff for Brian Shanahan and Penn Cove Group Capital of Mt. Lebanon, owner of the 55-acre multi-sport “campus.”

The general contractor for the project is Martik Bros. Inc.of Finleyville. Ms. Friedl would not disclose the cost of the project

Last fall Mr. Shanahan, of Upper Saint Clair, purchased the original 40-acre Cool Springs miniature golf course and driving range and an additional 15 acres of land from Bethel Park for $2.1 million.

Allegheny Health Network partnered with Mr. Shanahan, earning the naming rights to the Phase II building that will be called Allegheny Health Network Sports Complex.

The 172,000-foot structure with a crystal cathedral entrance, will include an NFL regulation-sized football field, one NBA and two NCAA-sized basketball courts and FIFA regulation-sized soccer field. The fields, separated by floor-to-ceiling netting, can also be transformed into six volleyball courts, Ms. Friedl said.

A mezzanine, half the size of the first floor, will overlook the fields and will include a 14,000-square-foot Allegheny Health Network Sports Medicine Center with doctors’ offices and training facilities.

The building will also house the 10,000-square-foot fitness center with equipment, locker rooms, free towel service and free day care with a licensed staff for members.

“We’re going to offer competitive rates for the Bethel, Baldwin and Whitehall [and surrounding] areas,” Mr. Shanahan said.

A juice bar, serving smoothies, protein drinks and other nutritional snacks will be open to the public.

Outside, there will be a multipurpose field for soccer and football, walking trail and, in partnership with the Pittsburgh Penguins, a dek hockey rink.

“I love sports in general and I love golf, so this is really cool for me [to be building this],” said Mr. Shanahan, who added that his mother used to drop him off at the original golf facility to practice his swing.

His new golf center, Phase I of the complex, opened on July 14 and has been successful, Ms. Friedl said. Open year round, it features a 50-bay, two-tiered driving range, short game practice course, 18-hole miniature golf course and lessons from PGA-certified pros. The clubhouse contains a pro shop, restaurant and an indoor golf simulator.

“You can play 18 holes at Pebble Beach with eight guys on a random night when it’s snowing out,” Ms. Friedl said.

Before the completion date, targeted for July 1, the municipality will be adding a left-turn lane with traffic signal upgrades from Baptist Road into the facility, said municipal planner Mike Smith.

He said a traffic impact analysis, completed in March and recommended by Trans Associates Engineering Consultants, suggested the additional turning lane.

The traffic plan is under review by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. No construction date has been set, but work will begin once the plans are reviewed by Bethel Park.

The original entrance, from Baptist Road, will remain, Mr. Smith said.

So far, feedback from the community is positive, Ms. Friedl said.

“They are thankful for us bringing this back to life. You see a lot of grandparents who brought their own kids here, bringing their grandkids here,” she said.

Details: playcoolsprings.com, 412-831-5080.

Read the original article in the Post Gazette by Laurie Bailey, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com