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LMSD, Haverford and Lower Merion Townships Reach Tentative Deal on Field Use

Haverford Township, Lower Merion Township and the Lower Merion School District have all approved an agreement that will allow baseball and softball teams from Black Rock Middle School to have priority use of two fields on the Polo Field, located at 109 County Line Road in the Bryn Mawr section of Haverford Township.

Under the agreement, LMSD will provide $275,000.00 for improvements to the park, playground and community uses of the field; $115,000 for improvements of bus access and maneuverability of the parking lot; and one-third of the cost of expanding the driveway into the parking lot.

Haverford Township will manage the scope, procurement, and execution of all 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 agreement is a first step that may allow the incoming School Board to reduce the impact of plans for Black Rock’s playing fields on the ecological and historical features of the district-owner properties at 1835 County Line Road and 1800 Montgomery Avenue (aka “Oakwell”).”

In addition to capital improvements, under the 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.

“This agreement is the result of two years of hard work on all sides to make sure we are not only reflecting the needs and wishes of the surrounding neighborhood, but also stewarding the park in a more responsible way. Perhaps most importantly, we are ensuring that our kids — and our neighbors— will always have a place to play and recreate. said Haverford Township Commissioner Laura Cavender. While change is never easy, I look forward to continuing to work with the community to improve our historic Polo Field.”

“We are very excited to be able to work together and come up with this excellent solution,” said Lower Merion Commissioner and Vice President, Andy Gavrin. “These agreements will help save over 500 mature trees and multiple historic buildings in Villanova, result in significant capital improvements to Polo Field, and provide a place for student-athletes at Black Rock Middle School to play baseball and softball.”

“Lower Merion Township often works with Haverford Township on common issues. Cooperation between Lower Merion Township and the Lower Merion School District is a new pattern that sets the tone to solve problems for the benefit of our community into the future. This is a remarkable win-win-win for our 3 local governing bodies.” adds Lower Merion Township Commissioner, V. Scott Zelov.

The school teams are expected to begin using the Polo Field in spring 2024.

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