Planned theater-to-park project in Mt. Pleasant is set to advance
The stage appears set for demolition of the former Penn Theater in Mt. Pleasant, according to officials of Westmoreland County's redevelopment authority.
Plans for the construction of a small-but-scenic park to replace the historic borough landmark also remain intact pending review of necessary funding, authority officials added.
The authority recently awarded a contract of $56,896 in federal funding to Pittsburgh-based Jadell Minniefield Construction Services Inc., said April Kopas, the authority's executive director.
The company will be responsible for demolition of the vacant, two-story, brick building located at 100 W. Main St. in the borough's East End, Kopas said.
In its place, the authority and the borough plan to finance the installation of a site tentatively named Penn Park on the property which previously was deeded to the borough, Kopas said.
“We're closer to completing a project in a nice, downtown area that will help both residents and businesses,” Kopas said.
Penn Park would serve as an outdoor, neighborhood gathering site featuring green space, benches, light posts, signs and walkways, according to a project summary titled the “Mt. Pleasant Borough Recreational Facilities Project.”
In addition, a portion of the property would include about eight parking spaces, the summary states.
The spaces would cater to those who shop at new businesses on that end of town like Shop Demo Depot or bikers and hikers entering and exiting the nearby trailhead of the Coal & Coke Trail.
The development will also be designed to allow natural water, such as rainfall, to flow to the flower beds planted there, the summary states.
The park, designed to occupy roughly one-quarter of the space currently taken up by the theater building, would also include a coke oven donated to the borough in 2010, said borough Manager Jeff Landy.
Bricks which currently help compose the theater building are also planned for use in constructing walls in the space, he said.
“I think Mt. Pleasant does a good job to keep history alive; this (park) will be a good community asset,” Kopas said.
Before the authority can permit Jadell Minniefield to begin demolition of the theater building, photographs documenting its interior and exterior must be turned over to the PA Historical & Museum Commission's Bureau for Historic Preservation in Harrisburg, Kopas said.
Hallie Chatfield, the authority's revitalization coordinator, visited the site Friday to gather such information, which she referred to as “photographic recordation.”
“When a building is deemed historic, and there is an adverse affect on a historic district, this kind of procedure is necessary to enable people who want to know about the building 20 years from now to be able to do so,” Chatfield said.
To finance the development of Penn Park, the borough has requested approximately $73,000 in Community Block Development Grant funding as part of the county's 2013 action plan, said Burt Getto, assistant deputy director in the county's division of community development within the department of planning and development.
At its March 14 meeting, the county's board of commissioners voted to approve a resolution adopting the plan to the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development.
The plan — which includes approximately $2.9 million in total CDBG funding requests countywide — was then sent to the federal department to be reviewed process over the next month or so, Getto said.
“We've had pre-construction meetings with the county's redevelopment authority, and we know that things move slow and it just takes time,” Landy said. “It's in the county's hands right now, and I'm happy with the way things are going.”
A.J. Panian is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-547-5722 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- The Dairy Mart serves final scoops in Donegal Township
- Main Street Deli & Cafe is coming to Mt. Pleasant
- Mt. Pleasant to hold 9/11 Tribute at Veteran’s Park
- Mt. Pleasant’s Kropff Jewelers to close at month’s end
- Main Street Deli & Cafe is coming to Mt. Pleasant