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'Lively' banners to add a touch of color to downtown Greensburg

| Thursday, April 25, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
Guy Wathen | Tribune-Review
Seton Hill University senior DJ Beckage presents a storefront design that was created by himself and fellow SHU graphic design major Maggie Ozzello, a junior, to the Greensburg Historical and Architectural Review Board on April 23, 2013.
Guy Wathen | Tribune-Review
Seton Hill University senior MaRissa Boros, a graphic design major, presents her banner designs to the Greensburg Historical and Architectural Review Board on April 23, 2013.
Guy Wathen | Tribune-Review
Greensburg Historical and Architectural Review Board chairman Steven Gifford listens to a proposal by Seton Hill University graphic design majors during a meeting on April 23, 2013.

Seton Hill University students put on display this week brightly colored images of a vibrant downtown Greensburg for use in vacant storefront windows, as banners and for a park.

The Historic and Architectural Review Board recommended Tuesday that city council approve the storefront displays and two images going on columns at the small park on South Pennsylvania Avenue.

The board plans to give some more review to the students' banner proposals. The banners are scheduled to go up in 2014.

“I think they're as good as anything I've seen in Pittsburgh,” said board member Marc Scurci, a former art teacher who owns an interior design business.

Students get valuable real-life experience through the project and contribute to their community, said Sister Mary Kay Neff, a graphic-design professor at the university.

“It's a service-oriented project for the students and they're able to practice what they've learned in the classroom and work with a client,” she said.

Students Molly Folmer of Freedom, Brittany Allen of Jeannette, David “D.J.” Beckage of Murrysville, Maggie Ozzello of Jeannette, Chris DeMichiei of Gibsonia, Jess Adams of Irwin and MaRissa Boros of White Oak presented designs to be used on vacant storefront windows.

Each used bright colors and incorporated words such as “Dynamic” and “Invigorating” in their designs.

“We thought that described Greensburg perfectly,” DeMichiei said of his team's word — “lively.”

The vinyl images will be placed on vacant windows near the Westmoreland County Courthouse and can be easily removed when a new tenant takes over, said Steve Gifford, chairman of the city board.

“The intent is to add vibrant elements to the downtown streetscape and keep the public from seeing into the vacant storefronts,” said Gifford, who is executive director of Greensburg Community Development Corp.

Boros, Ozzello and senior Katie Fleming of Greensburg presented banner designs for city poles in the shopping and cultural districts.

Junior Emily Franicola of Darragh designed two panels to go on two columns at the parklet.

She said she incorporated what she saw looking out the windows of the university's visual arts studio on South Pennsylvania Avenue and images of noted Greensburg attractions in her two renditions.

In other matters, the board:

• Recommended city council approve a brick-and-glass elevator tower planned near the main entrance to Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital. Hospital officials are proposing the elevator to move patients from the intensive care and surgical recovery units, where additional renovations are planned.

• Approved awning signs for S&T Trust's move into the Union Trust Building on North Main Street and a widening of a door to meet federal regulations.

• Approved a window sign for Greensburg Auto Tag and Notary, 116 E. Pittsburgh.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or