Haverford Township, Lower Merion Township and the Lower Merion School District are pleased to announce a tentative agreement that will allow baseball and softball teams from Black Rock Middle School to have priority use of two fields at the Polo Field, located at 109 County Line Road in the Bryn Mawr section of Haverford Township. The tentative agreement requires approval of the respective Boards.
Under the tentative agreement, LMSD will provide an estimated $275,000 in funds to be used for improvements to the site, with a goal of improving community spaces and minimizing neighbors’ exposure to the fields’ use. Additional improvements may include dugouts and field grading so the fields align with PIAA competition standards. Haverford Township will manage the scope, procurement and execution of the improvements with input from Lower Merion Township. Ongoing maintenance of the site will be provided by the Parks and Recreation departments of Haverford and Lower Merion townships through agreements among LMSD and the two townships.
Lucy Klain, President of the Lower Merion Board of School Directors, said, “I want to thank Commissioners Andy Gavrin and Scott Zelov of Lower Merion and Commissioner Laura Cavender of Haverford for their collaboration and leadership on this project. All of our secondary schools have teams that must go off-site for practices and/or games. Having priority access to the Polo Field, which is close to Black Rock Middle School, will ease some of the strain on our athletes, coaches and transportation department as we endeavor to provide a full complement of athletic opportunities to all of our students.”
She added, “This tentative agreement, along with our ongoing discussions with Natural Lands about the possibility of developing an educational partnership based at the former greenhouse complex on the District-owned properties at 1835 County Line Road and 1800 Montgomery Avenue (aka “Oakwell”), are ways in which we might reduce the impact on trees on the site, while still ensuring our student athletes have access to adequate fields.”
In addition to capital improvements, under the tentative agreement, Haverford Township will take ownership of the 18-acre Polo Field site and continue to share equal use of the fields, as the two townships have done for decades.
“You rarely find an opportunity that is truly a win for all parties involved,” said Haverford Township Commissioner Laura Cavender. “Working together creatively, we can enable children from Black Rock to use the Polo Field each spring, while honoring both townships’ unique relationship to Polo Field and improving the park for everyone in the community. I’m pleased we were able to come together to find a solution.”
“I am so grateful for the cooperation with Haverford Township and Lower Merion School District,” said Lower Merion Commissioner and Vice President Andy Gavrin. “This tentative agreement among all three entities will allow for the students of Black Rock Middle School to have fields for their interscholastic sports in close proximity to the school. I look forward to continuing to work closely with the District to create a new plan for the remaining field needs at Oakwell, that could greatly reduce the impact on the existing environmental and historic features of the site.”
Improvement work on the site is expected to begin in time for school teams to begin using the Polo Field in spring 2024.