Peters Township unveils buzzworthy new gym

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Saturday, February 13, 2021 | 5:31 PM


After some delays and a few more hurdles than usual that popped up while building a state-of-the-art high school athletic facility during a pandemic, Peters Township unveiled the AHN Arena at the new high school on Friday.

The facility was christened with the Indians’ 51-45 victory over rival Canon-McMillan.

“The facility was excellent,” Peters Township first-year coach Joe Urmann said after the game. “Our play was less then excellent, but we’ll take the win.”

The latest “arena” style gym with stands on all four ends instantly becomes one of the bigger WPIAL facilities with a seating capacity of 2,300 with space for another 750 standing-room-only fans.

School officials visited gyms throughout the district and made notes of things they liked and didn’t like. Those notes were part of the original planning of the gymnasium.

“The athletic facility at the new high school turned out exceptionally well,” Peters Township athletic director Brian Geyer said. “We are very happy with the design development process, and the facilities really exceeded what we anticipated. I believe that the hard work our school board and administration did over the last five years or so really paid dividends with the facility we have now.”

This is not just about the Indians basketball and volleyball programs. Between the new gym, the auxiliary gym, the natatorium and the weight room and fitness center, the facilities are a benefit for all Peters Township athletes.

“The benefits of this new facility are endless,” Geyer said. “The athletic facility will allow additional space for our programs to grow and space out properly, with covid restrictions. We have an indoor track, three full-sized basketball and volleyball courts and a state-of-the-art weight room and fitness center at the new high school.”

The two-lane indoor regulation track is a tenth of a mile and will be introduced next week when Peters Township welcomes two area schools for an indoor track event.

The new arena, with naming rights purchased by Allegheny Health Network, and the new high school have been the talk of many area basketball fans, administrators and coaches since the season began.

“It certainly created a buzz,” Urmann said. “Every coach I talk to, the first thing they want to talk about is the new gym. It is always a pleasure to tell them we have such an awesome facility. Obviously there’s a lot of buzz inside our community as well as people are excited to come in here and enjoy sports.”

Since Geyer became the AD at Peters Township 10 years ago, the district has done a great job hosting many different WPIAL postseason events from football to soccer to softball. At this time of year, Peters Township has always been busy hosting district and state basketball games at a much smaller gym.

“This new facility will allow us to host larger events than our previous building, including WPIAL and PIAA playoffs,” Geyer said. “We really like how our facility turned out, and we think we have a great working relationship with the WPIAL and PIAA. The WPIAL is blessed with a lot of nice facilities, but I guess AHN Arena would move us closer to the top.”

With the open WPIAL tournament coming up, the only chance for the new facility to host postseason games up to the semifinals is if the Indians boys or girls basketball program earns a higher seed in the upcoming Class 6A playoffs.

However, with plenty of parking, space for media, two large LED video boards capable of showing live video to go with two large scoreboards, there is a chance this brand-new facility could be one of the venues the WPIAL will select to host several district basketball championship games this season.

“We have discussed the potential of hosting the WPIAL finals, if our facility is needed,” Geyer said. “It would be a great venue to crown champions.”

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