City Guide: Best of the 'Burbs

City-centric? Here’s a compass to lead you on a journey to some happening suburban communities — north, south, east and west.

(page 3 of 6)


The striking appearance of Upper St. Clair High School matches the district’s shining reputation.
 

With a two-year-old $28 million recreational complex along Boyce Road, this prestigious South Hills address close to the Washington County line border continues to go big.

This community of spacious colonial homes with verdant, rolling lawns was recently ranked as the state’s No. 1 school district for the sixth straight year, based on students’ scores on the statewide PSSA exams. The high-school campus, rising like the Starship Enterprise at the corner of Washington and McLaughlin Run roads, was expanded and renovated in 2000.

The district followed that project with reconstruction of all three elementary schools and two middle schools—the latter to be completed this year. Now, community discussions center on new uses for the former Consol Energy campus on Washington Road.

When the community of 19,000-plus began to explore options for a new community center 12 years ago, its plans were equally expansive. The result is a fitness center that apes the curve of the high-school building. Even outsiders happily pay membership fees to use its indoor and outdoor water parks, track and trails, fitness centers, gyms and other amenities.

“There’s nothing like it in the state,” says Paul Besterman, USC recreation director. “We worked on it for 10 years before it opened.” The 90,000-square-foot facility, located on 475 acres in the township’s Boyce Mayview Park, pays all operating costs through the sale of memberships. Some 9,000 folks—28 percent of them from outside the township—now use the center. A family can purchase an annual pass for $82.

Ten miles of trails, winding past community sports fields, are hard-scaped for cycling or walking. Annual events include an Earth Day Extravaganza, fall festival and kids’ triathlon. “What’s really cool is that we meet all ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards,” says Besterman. “We’re working with the school district’s SNAP (special-needs adaptive program) to get everyone to participate.”

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Pittsburgh's Top 10 Things to Do in March

Pittsburgh's Top 10 Things to Do in March

Your 10 best bets for this month.
Jamie Dixon: Winning His Way

Jamie Dixon: Winning His Way

Peers, players, and regular observers know him to be one of the best coaches — and people — in college basketball.
15 Buzzworthy Pittsburgh Salons

15 Buzzworthy Pittsburgh Salons

From east to west — and north and south — these are the region’s salons and services that make our cut. Having a good hair day doesn’t have to be so difficult after all.
Home of the Year: 2015

Home of the Year: 2015

This year’s selections include a Richland Township house built to appreciate its 160-acre lot and Shadyside garage that was renovated into a stunning, modern dream home.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Table for 36, Please: Penguins Invade D.C. Restaurant

Table for 36, Please: Penguins Invade D.C. Restaurant

One item on the menu got a lot of attention.
Another Pittsburgh-Area Singer Advances on 'The Voice'

Another Pittsburgh-Area Singer Advances on 'The Voice'

Plus –– who knew? Actor Will Smith's ties to Pittsburgh.
Remembering Ron Tassone

Remembering Ron Tassone

The long-time dance professor at Point Park University died Tuesday.
Art Rooney II — Rapper?

Art Rooney II — Rapper?

The Steelers president, with the help of some powerful friends, recently recorded a rap video. But why?