Reading Planning Commission reviews plan for velodrome

READING, Pa. - The Reading Planning Commission on Tuesday got its first look at a sketch plan for the proposed indoor velodrome at Albright College.

Representatives from the college, the World Cycling League, Burkey Construction, and Stackhouse Bensinger Inc. provided information to the commissioners, Keith Zehner of the planning and zoning office, and representatives from the city's public works department.

The proposed velodrome is a 100,000-square-foot indoor bicycle racing track with seating for approximately 2,500, a restaurant, and a parking lot with 235 spaces located on a seven-acre site on Rockland Street, west of North 11th Street.

The $20 million facility will be a state-of-the-art indoor velodrome and world headquarters for the World Cycling League, officials said. It will be one of only two in the United States and the first one on the East Coast.

While the commissioners agreed that the presentation was a great start to a very exciting project, they also said that there was a multitude of legal issues to be addressed.

Issues such as emergency vehicle access; PennDOT access permits; a 72-inch concrete sewer pipe running directly under the building; and environmental impact were discussed.

Possibly the biggest issues will be the impact of the additional traffic generated by the facility and the limited number of parking spaces available on site. The project allows for satellite parking with shuttle service.

In other business, the planning commission gave conditional approval for the final subdivision and land development plan for Alvernia University’s Recreation, Health Sciences & Wellness Complex (the PLEX), a 78,400-square-foot building and parking area, pending an outstanding utility easement.

Per Alvernia’s website, “It will be the largest, most ambitious expansion in university history, adding more than 100,000 square feet of academic and recreation space and 15 acres to campus."


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