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 5 of 6)


The tranquility of rural Pennsylvania is a fact of life in Murrysville, less than an hour from downtown.
 

After years of Route 22 construction, this community has resumed its growth. Mayor Bob Brooks says the community has gained about 75 building permits within the last year in such developments as Sinan Farms, Serenity Pointe, Barrington Heights and Klifton Villa Estates. Several of these developments are in the process of going through approval or are in construction. Careful zoning, however, preserves the area’s wide-open rural feel.

At nearly 40 square miles, almost twice the size of nearby Monroeville, “we look rural,” says Brooks. Efforts by the Westmoreland Conservancy have helped maintain the rural character of Murrysville throughout the years with the addition of parkland and open space. With its location in Westmoreland County, just over the Allegheny County line, Murrysville boasts property taxes that are nearly 25 percent lower than neighboring communities in Allegheny County.

The residents also provide support for the Franklin Regional School District, a high-performing district whose science curriculum was cited by Carnegie Science Center as the region’s best in 2010. The district’s high-school fields host 15 different sports teams, and its well-regarded marching band will represent Pennsylvania in the January 2012 Rose Bowl parade.

During the past decade, Murrysville’s population has grown 6 percent to more than 20,000. One factor pushing growth is UPMC East; the health system’s new $240 million Monroeville hospital, now under construction along Mosside Boulevard. The building is a state-of-the-art, 156-bed facility slated to open in summer 2012. The LEED-certified complex will create hundreds of jobs at full capacity.

Murrysville itself has seen the beginnings of business district expansion with a new medical-office building and a regional headquarters for PNC Bank, both of which will open along William Penn Highway this year. Other additions to the area will be a standalone restaurant, strip mall and indoor hockey rink.

When it comes time for fun, Murrysville offers some significant resources. With eight community and neighborhood parks, this borough has the largest park acreage per resident in the region—some 1,300 acres. Wetlands, dog parks and other passive conservation areas attract wildlife as well as trail users.

At Murrysville Community Park, the largest of the borough’s recreation spots, something new is being added: Miracle Field. The Murrysville-Export Rotary Club has raised $1.4 million to date (sufficient funding to begin construction) of the total project cost, which is $1.8 million. The completed project will showcase a hard-surfaced area, suitable for use by athletes with disabilities, which adjoins the park’s array of soccer and baseball fields.

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Bucket List: 25 Don't-Miss Experiences for the Yinzer in All of Us

Bucket List: 25 Don't-Miss Experiences for the Yinzer in All of Us

You'll have to work hard to make it through the 'Burgh Bucket List — but every entry is more than worth the effort.
Finally Home: How Pittsburgh Won over Troy Polamalu

Finally Home: How Pittsburgh Won over Troy Polamalu

Troy Polamalu came to Pittsburgh craving the California sun. Nearly a dozen years later, he shares a rare glimpse of the relationships he developed here — with his God, the Steelers Nation and the city he and his family now call home. One thing is certain: he never wants to leave.
Granting the Perfect Wish

Granting the Perfect Wish

By fulfilling the wish of a 12-year-old boy, PittGirl learns that you don't always need a lot of money to grant the perfect wish.
Men's Winter Fashion: Season for Swagger

Men's Winter Fashion: Season for Swagger

Try an updated take on traditional trends with these winter must-haves for men.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Pittsburgh Offers Free Holiday Parking

Pittsburgh Offers Free Holiday Parking

The city hopes that offering free parking to shoppers on some of the busiest commercial days of the year will give small businesses a lift.
Photo Gallery: Andy Warhol Bridge Yarn Bombing Wins Public Art Award

Photo Gallery: Andy Warhol Bridge Yarn Bombing Wins Public Art Award

The bridge was covered in more than 3,000 feet of colorful, hand-knit blankets in honor of the late pop artist’s 85th birthday.
Pittsburgh Area Native Advances to Next Round on ‘The Voice’

Pittsburgh Area Native Advances to Next Round on ‘The Voice’

Chris Jamison, 20, of Ross Township, is a 2012 graduate of North Hills High School.
This Weekend: Renovated 1871 Mansion Highlights Shadyside House Tour

This Weekend: Renovated 1871 Mansion Highlights Shadyside House Tour

The three-story mansion, valued by Allegheny County at $1.57 million, was last open to the public in 2003.