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Innovative plans

After many months of hard work and dedication, students from Seneca Valley Intermediate High School presented their innovative planning and design proposals for new park spaces to the Cranberry Township Board of Supervisors at their evening meeting on April 25.

Several students were elected to be a part of a Human-Centered Design Interest Group as part of the Purpose Program at Seneca Valley. Instructed by Gifted Support teacher, Ms. Meagan Loewy, ninth and tenth graders spent time working throughout the year learning and applying human-centered design processes to select locations and created plans for two park spaces in Cranberry Township, a skate park and a community garden.

presentation

The purpose of the project was to design a new skate park prototype to replace the old skate park that was previously behind the Cranberry Township Municipal Center. The students began surveying four community spaces and decided the best fit space was located at North Boundary Park. They also discovered an area of the property that would be ideal for a community gathering place which could include swinging chairs, a sensory pathway, community garden and more.

“When we pitched our proposal to the Board of Supervisors, they seemed genuinely interested in our ideas,” said sophomore Mia Grant. “This project challenged me because we had to collaborate with a group of people with different ideas. Overall, our presentations were thorough, efficient and conveyed our vision. It was also really cool to see the Board Members’ faces light up because we were there as students caring about our community.”  

Throughout the school year, the team had guidance and input from Kyle Beidler, Cranberry Township Chief Planning Officer, Dan Santoro, Township Manager and Dave Blair, Director of Parks and Recreation. All three Cranberry Township representatives visited the class and worked with the groups to teach them more about the professional side of planning, building, and using park spaces. 

“As a skater myself, I know that Cranberry Township is a community that would greatly benefit from this addition,” said freshman Enzo Guandolo. “We were simply honored, to not only to be able to get this project in motion, but to present a place that would greatly impact the community. Our proposal is a shining light that can be worked into creating an accessible place where all can come together to enjoy an athletic, healthy and fun environment.”

Posted May 1, 2024