Community Profile: Borough of Munhall
Located in the historic Steel Valley, nestled between Homestead and West Homestead on the southern banks of the Monongahela River, Munhall and its neighboring boroughs were once home to U.S. Steel’s Homestead Works, which employed 15,000 workers at its height during World War II. The former industrial site is now the popular retail destination The Waterfront.
Munhall is also where you’ll find William W. Knight Memorial Park, known to locals as West Field. The field, which is located on West Street behind the Borough of Munhall municipal building, was one of the home fields of the Negro League baseball team the Homestead Grays in the 1930’s and 40’s. Noteworthy players such as Josh Gibson, Walter “Buck” Leonard, and James “Cool Papa” Bell (among others) played on the field.
This summer a $5 million renovation of West Field is underway thanks to the Campbell Educational and Community Foundation. William V. Campbell Jr., a Steel Valley native, formed the foundation in 2013 to foster growth and improve the quality of life for Steel Valley residents. The updated field will include two baseball fields with a soccer/ football field in the middle, as well as new lighting, restrooms, concession stand, refurbished locker rooms and a modern seating area for up to 800 people. Once the field is completed local teams like the Steel Valley High School will be able to make us of it again.
Another project underway in Munhall will call for less fanfare, but is also part of the effort to revitalize the borough. This summer the Munhall brought on GSPIA student Rachel Boss as a municipal intern through the Local Government Academy to prepare a Five Year Capital Improvement Plan for the borough under the supervision of Manager Robert Callen. The purpose of the capital improvement plan (CIP) is to identify, prioritize, and plan for major capital expenditures. Having a CIP can also improve the likelihood of procuring grants and loans. “We want to get to a place where we’re planning responsibly and with forethought for capital improvements rather than conducting daily damage control reacting to crises,” said Callen.