Senator Michele Brooks and Pennsylvania Representative Mark Longietti have announced on Tuesday that new grant funding of nearly $477,000 will expand recreational opportunities for those living in Mercer County.

Hermitage will receive $230,904 for a street hockey facility. The grant will fund excavation, installation of a concrete pad, decking, a rink, boards, lighting, fencing and other amenities.

Senator Brooks says there's been widespread demand from residents for a facility to allow local families to spend time together and offer fun for both youth and adults.

"In addition to expanding recreational opportunities for families, it will also help to attract others to the area resulting in positive economic impacts," Senator Brooks said.

Longietti conceded that the new facility will boost Hermitage's economy while adding that the funding is a great investment to introduce the community to a new sport.

A second $220,854 grant will be allocated to the Mercer County Park Renovation Project to renovate a 40-year-old park behind the Shenango Township Building.

The funding will be used to install hard surface pathways, as well as to build a 13,950 square foot hard surface play area. The pathways will provide wheelchair access to all pavilions, restrooms and play areas.

The play area will include a basketball court, pickleball courts, a batting cage, a bocce court, a small children's basketball court and a playground with fencing and benches.

"These renovations will allow the township to offer more community outreach programs, including senior sport leagues and tournaments, as well as youth and recruitment events held by the police and fire departments," Brooks said.

Brooks added that these renovations would give residents the opportunity to meet new friends and build a better relationship with local town officials and first responders.

"The grant to Shenango Township will allow it to expand a well-loved, widely-used park that has hosted decades of activities," Longietti said.

Lastly, a $25,000 grant was awarded to Sharon for development of a new ballpark.

The grants are courtesy of the Commonwealth Financing Authority under its Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program.