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Weather derails Carnegie skate park progress

| Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

The final batch of concrete was poured Monday, but it will still be a while before Pitcher Park Memorial Skatepark is ready for skaters.

Pitcher Park Foundation President Mary Pitcher said that while the hardware is done, the park still needs fencing, a sidewalk and landscaping.

“It's very much still a construction area,” she said.

The park is a memorial to two of Pitcher's sons, who died during a 2008 camping trip. Vincent, 21, and Stephen, 19, drowned in Kinzua Reservoir July 15, 2008. She has been spearheading the effort since then, and ground broke for the project in Carnegie Park in July.

Stretches of sub-freezing temperatures during the winter halted construction from January through March, and rain in the past weeks have slowed the process again.

“We hit the worst weather of the century this year,” Pitcher said. “With the rain, it's been unbelievable.”

She said the project is six to eight weeks away from completion. She had originally hoped to have construction completed over the winter. In April, she said she hoped to have the park open in July.

“When you work for something for so long at this point, now that it's really happening — I am very patient,” she said. “We want it done right, and I think that's happening.”

Borough manager Stephen Beuter said that with weather, delays were expected.

“There's not anything they could do about it,” he said.

He said the borough's main concern right now is working with the foundation get landscaping underway.

Pitcher still plans to hold a grand opening once the park is finished, and she said skate shops have been asking to set up booths at the event.

“I think Carnegie is going to have to build a few more hotels for this,” she said. “Judging from the (Pitcher Park) Facebook page, skaters are going to be coming out of the woodwork to come to this skatepark. They'll be coming from all over. And that's great.”

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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