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West Newton's Simeral Square construction progress report for March issued

Work continues at Simeral Square despite less-than-favorable weather as foundations are being set for the installation of bike racks, benches and light posts.

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By George Sam
Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

In March, Downtown West Newton Inc. (DWNI) and the Job Conference Team that meets regularly to inspect construction at Simeral Square reported that masonry work at the site continues and foundations are being set for the installation of bike racks, benches and light posts. Bricks, stone panels and bollards are being delivered this week. Fleeher Contracting will begin landscape work in April.

Bike racks, benches, trash receptacles and engraved bricks have been previously purchased and stored locally at Main Street Motors and Mousey's Auto Body. DWNI thanks Keith Waltower and Bill Siber for their generosity.

West Newton Borough approved the location of a new crosswalk from the alleyway at North Water Street to the stairway entrance at Simeral Square to assist in pedestrian safety. The borough will also mark pedestrian crosswalks near the site with painted striping. West Penn Power was contacted about a leaning utility pole at the site; the utility said there is no danger of it falling over. The pole will eventually be relocated further down North Water Street.

DWNI received several grants recently to help fund either Simeral Square activities or site amenities. The Highmark Foundation will present Highmark employee and DWNI promotions chair, Barb LaFace with a $1,000 grant in May and FirstEnergy Foundation presented FirstEnergy employee and DWNI Simeral Square project coordinator, George Sam with a $500 grant for site amenities. Other grant applications are pending to help supplement this year's budget.

The Simeral Square, Promotions and Design Committees continue to work together on preparations for the grand opening, the 2013 activities calendar, ongoing site maintenance and operations, and pedestrian amenities, parking and traffic controls. DWNI is also partnering with the borough, other non-profit organizations and businesses to assist with managing the logistics of planning for a variety of events and an influx of new visitors in the downtown.

Go to the DWNI website,, for more information about Simeral Square and other activities happening in West Newton. Citizens can still order bricks or amenities by calling the DWNI office at 724-872-0100 to get a brochure or by downloading one from the website. Proceeds will be used for development, operations and maintenance costs of Simeral Square.

George Sam is DWNI's Simeral Square project coordinator.

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