From Dream to Reality
The Building Process
Erma Williams used to pass Summerset at Frick Park as she drove the Parkway East in her daily commute. For years she commuted this route and saw Summerset at Frick Park go from an empty hilltop to a beautiful neighborhood.
Seeing the neighborhood come to life intrigued Mrs. Williams, so one day she ventured off her usual path in search of finding this new neighborhood. “I used to watch this being built. I found my way up here,” she said. When she found Summerset at Frick Park she was immediately taken with its views and beauty. “We felt it was so lovely; we’d sit on the bench and look out over the city.” recalls Mrs.Williams. While taken with the views and its proximity to so much, she “never thought I’d live up here, wished, but never thought.”
With this neighborhood on the hill still on her mind some time later, she and her son went to the sales center to inquire about building here. They decided that they wanted to build and “it wasn’t a question of where. I knew where.” She added, “I was born in Pittsburgh, all my activities are in Pittsburgh, therefore I did not want to move out of the city. This really suited my needs.” When they looked into building at Summerset at Frick Park they learned that the first phase was completely sold out. Undeterred by this, she decided to wait for the next phase of homes. Finally the next phase of building was announced and Mrs. Williams and her son wasted no time reserving a lot. Their home was the second home completed in this phase. “It was worth the wait.” Mrs. Williams notes.
Mrs. Williams really enjoyed the building process and was very involved through out the process to create a home of her dreams. “Everyone was great to work with,” she explains. Mrs. Williams said that the builders were very accommodating with some special requests she had. Her favorite room is her master bath, which she helped design. She jokes that it is so spacious that “you can ride a bicycle in it!” She added a custom walk in shower with an etched flamingo on the door. Her involvement with the process didn’t stop there. She visited her home site daily. Everyone working on her home got to know her through her visits. Mrs. Williams points out that “the builders are really good people, very good builders and good to work with.”
Now that Mrs. Williams and her son are in their home, she loves the neighborhood even more than she did on her her initial visit. Her neighbors are friendly and came over to welcome her to the neighborhood. She often sits on her patio and “everyone waves and we talk to each other,” she points out. “People are out walking morning, noon and night,” so she may be inspired to take up walking as well. Mrs. Williams is so pleased with her new home, saying that “it’s everything you could want for, really.”
Progress is well underway on this next phase of home building. Roads have been paved, new homes are being built and land has been cleared for the new apartments. While we eagerly await the finished products, we decided to look back at the transformation over this last year.
Homes are in various stages of completion, but there are still a variety home styles to chose from in this phase. These styles of homes, including single family, townhomes and manor flats are available for immediate reservation. In addition to new homes being built, over 130 apartment units will be ready to lease in spring of 2013 as well. With all these living options available, there’s something for everyone who wants to live in a new traditional neighborhood that is convenient to downtown, the parkway, hospitals and universities and so much more. If you’ve thought about living at Summerset at Frick Park–now is the right time to consider a move to the neighborhood.
Picking a School
Summerset at Frick Park’s Squirrel Hill location affords its residents quick and convenient access to some of Pittsburgh’s finest schools. This makes getting children to school and after school activities much easier. Summerset at Frick Park residents have many educational choices. There are many excellent public, private and religious schools all within a few miles.
Public school choices include neighborhood schools, magnet schools and charter schools. Currently, the feeder schools for Summerset at Frick Park includes three well-regarded city schools: Minadeo (preK-5), Sterrett Classical Academy (6-8) and Pittsburgh Allderdice High School (9-12). “Minadeo has been a great experience for my kids,” says Dr. Jennifer Tepe, Summerset resident and educator. “There are some amazingly talented teachers at that school.” The other schools are also well-regarded. “I’ve been very pleased with my son’s progress, especially in Advanced Math,” says Maria Lauro, a Sterrett parent. “It’s a very rigorous program.” Pittsburgh Allderdice offers a wide variety of advanced and AP classes and many graduates go on to highly prestigious colleges and universities including Johns Hopkins, Smith, MIT, Georgetown, Stanford, Princeton, Brown, and Yale.
The city’s magnet schools cater to a broad range of interests including technology, language, performing arts or international studies. Charter schools fall under the category of public schools because they are funded with public dollars and must be approved by the school board, but they are not overseen by the school district. The Frick Environmental Charter School, located on the edge of Frick Park, is a K-8 school.
There are numerous private schools in the vicinity of Summerset at Frick Park. The East End is home to St. Edmund’s Academy (PK-8), Shady Side Academy (PK-12), Ellis School (PK-12), Falk school (K-8), Kentucky Avenue School (PK-8), Winchester Thurston School (PK-12), the University School (9-12+post) and the Oakland School (9-12). Area religious schools include Community Day School (K-8), the Yeshiva School (PK-12), Hillel Academy (PK-12), St. Bede School (PK-8), Sacred Heart (PK-8), Carlow Campus School (PK-8), Oakland Catholic (9-12) and Central Catholic (9-12).
With all these choices, deciding on a school can be overwhelming. Dr. Paula A. Calabrese, a regional education expert who has served as a teacher, administrator and now as a consultant to public, private and charter schools, says there are five things parents should know when they choose a school:
1. Know your child. Is your child able to thrive in a larger school, or does he need a smaller environment? What about any special needs?
2. Know the teachers and curriculum. What’s the level of expertise of the teachers in the school? What’s the average class size? Is the curriculum rigorous and relevant?
3. Know the communications systems. How welcoming is the school to parents? Are parents treated as partners in the education of their child?
4. Know your family’s values and beliefs. Is it important to you that your child receive religious education in school? What about the social values of a school?
5. Know the outcomes you want for your child. For high school students, what’s the graduating class size? How many AP or other advanced classes does the school offer? What colleges do students attend after high school?
Dr. Calabrese says that most parents can feel the ambiance of a school when they first walk in the door and can sense if it’s an appropriate, hospitable and welcoming environment for their child. With such a wide variety of choices, parents at Summerset at Frick Park can ensure that all of their children receive the best education possible at the best school for them.
A Fall Festival
Nearly three hundred people turned out for the Fall Festival held on October 27, 2012.
The Festival kicked off with a parade lead by Rick Sebak (who has a street named after him at Summerset at Frick Park), the Allderdice Marching Band, Murray the Squirrel Hill Squirrel, and the giant Studio Capezzuti Puppets. Friends, visitors and neighbors, most of them in costume, participated in the parade.
The parade began at the newly dedicated Mark Schneider Park and ended at Crescent Park, where specialty food trucks, family activities and various community groups greeted parade marchers and guests. Knights of the Classroom had their medieval traveling museum set up under the pavilion and roughly a dozen community groups had activities set up under a huge tent.
There were seasonally themed crafts, including The Garbage Bag Gala’s flying bats and The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts’ bat books as well as pumpkin muffins and hot cider sold by the Allderdice Field Hockey team. The Allderdice Marching Band sold fair-trade coffee. Neighboring non-profit, Nine Mile Run Watershed Association had rain barrels displayed that had been hand-painted by local artists. Another neighboring non-profit, The Frick Environmental Center, presented their ecological display of animal tracks and talked about Frick Park.
Children lined up for face painting and henna tattoos by the students from Capa Visual Arts. Diana the Penguin from the Aviary and the local Dagorhir chapter were popular attractions, especially for children. Big Brothers Big Sisters, Pittsburgh Landmarks Foundation and the Heinz History Foundation were on hand to provide information on their organizations.
Summerset at Frick Park also partnered with Zero Waste for the event. By using clearly marked recycling stations and compostable serving items, the event participants were able to take advantage of all the food and fun while keeping waste to a minimum. With a wide range of food and activities for families to enjoy, this year’s Fall Festival provided something for everyone.