PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The original Frick Park Environmental Center went up in flames nearly 10 years ago after vandals set it ablaze, but plans are in the works to build a new center.

The proposed facility is expected to cost $10 million and will have a new look.

“We’ve really tried to keep the footprint tight, so the actual building will sit approximately where the old building is, but we are building it right into that hillside,” Marijke Hecht with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy said.

“The building, the landscape, the programing will all teach people how they can interact with and help improve our world.”

The new center will also help educate more people.

“There will be classrooms there and some space for people to do lectures and things like that, but really, the real classroom is the park itself,” Hecht said.

Right now the environmental center is a trailer. The only thing green about it is the paint, but not the new one. It’s will focus on taking what nature gives us and making better choices with it, including rain water.

“That’s maybe the most exciting part about this project,” Hecht said. “We’ve got a very serious storm water problem in this region and this is an opportunity for us to demonstrate a better way to capture rain water when it falls.”

“Don’t put it in pipes and send it into the river where we have sewage overflows, but instead, let it infiltrate into the ground,” she continued.

“It may not look any different from your typical asphalt parking lot, but when you go when it rains, you’ll see that that rain water is actually going to be perking down through the asphalt into a tank underneath.”

In addition to the environmental center being rebuilt, the brick gate guard buildings will be rehabbed. Construction will begin in 2013.

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Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

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