Auto repair shop under construction at site of former bowling alley

Jon Andreassi

A former bowling alley will soon be South Strabane Township’s newest auto repair shop.

Prime Collision Center is now under construction at 390 Washington Road, the former home of Route 19 Bowling Center, which closed its doors in April 2016 after 57 years.

Gary Flannery, general manager of Prime Collision Center, said the business is slated to open early next year.

“This year is a little bit difficult when it comes to obtaining construction materials. Due to those delays, we probably won’t be able to open until January,” Flannery said.

The South Strabane Township planning commission granted final approval for the development at its June meeting.

According to Flannery, some of those involved in the project are also affiliated with Washington Auto Mall. Washington Auto Mall owns Washington Honda, Washington Hyundai and South Hills Toyota.

However, Flannery said Washington Auto Mall does not own the new business.

“It is a separate entity. It’s a separate operation,” Flannery said. “We’ll be referring business back and forth.”

As the building has been vacant for several years, Flannery said some work remained to get it ready for Prime Collision Center to move in.

“There was work that needed done on the roof. We had to finish clearing it out,” Flannery said, adding that they needed to lay a new sewer line across the property. “We’re trying to make it current with all the other development that has occurred in the area. The building the way it sat was a bit of an eyesore.”

According to Flannery, Prime Collision is currently hiring and hopes to start with about 15 or 16 employees, eventually expanding to 30 to 35 employees.

“We’re looking to hire the best people we can find in the area,” Flannery said. “Fortunately, Washington County has a lot of people like that.”