Greensburg council OKs plans for Seton Hill arts center
Seton Hill University can move forward on building a dance and visual arts center in downtown Greensburg.
In a unanimous vote on Monday, city council approved site and land development plans for the $12 million center planned at West Otterman Street and College Avenue.
Council's approval comes with the stipulations that PennDOT approves a highway occupancy permit and the state Department of Environmental Protection endorses planning modules for the 46,000-square-foot building.
But before council supported the project, members discussed the use of $6 million in R-Cap funds from the state to help build the $12 million project.
Councilwoman Kathleen McCormick said she objects to using those funds, not the project.
“I support Seton Hill and their new dance/visual arts building,” she said. “What I do not support and have voted against in the past is the R-Cap money, which is being used towards this project.
“R-Cap money is borrowed money that all taxpayers must pay back with interest,” she said.
Former Gov. Ed Rendell set aside the money for the project, which Gov. Tom Corbett then released.
Seton Hill used $5 million in R-Cap money to build the arts center at West Otterman Street and Harrison Avenue. That center opened in 2009.
If the state has excess money to spend, McCormick said, it should be spent on putting “more police officers in communities to deal with the rising drug problem, treatment for those addicted” and to make up for cuts in funding to school districts.
She added that she planned to vote for the project because “the train (funding) has already left the station.”
Councilman Randy Finfrock said he did not see anywhere on the agenda where council was voting on R-Cap funding.
He suggested anyone who doesn't like how the state handles its financing run for state office.
“I have a belief if we don't take that money, someone else will,” Mayor Ron Silvis added. “So why not put it in our community.”
Steve Gifford, Greensburg Community Development Corp. executive director, said his board supports the Seton Hill project.
“We enthusiastically endorse this building,” he said.
His group sought to have developers erect an apartment building, a hotel, a car wash and a medical arts building on the site, but that development didn't happen, Gifford said.
Some of the developers said the parcel wasn't big enough for their plans, he added.
In another matter, council accepted the retirement of George Seranko as police captain, effective June 8.
He served for 26 years in the department as an officer and about eight years as a police dispatcher.
Council named Chad Zucco to succeed Seranko.
Zucco has worked in the department for 15 years, six on patrol, four as a sergeant and the last five years as a lieutenant.
“I'm honored to be appointed,” Zucco said. “I want to keep up with what Capt. Seranko has started. It'll be big shoes to fill.”
Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 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.
- Hempfield Area High School senior Richason creates Before I Die wall in Greensburg
- Bushy Run Battlefield upgrades to include trail, signs, landscaping
- Allegheny man Wedel charged with baseball bat, knife attack on former roommate
- Youngwood Fire Department to dedicate memorial at station
- Historic Greensburg Art Center joins Cat’s Meow collection
- Greensburg police captain to attend highly selective academy
- Jeannette man pleads guilty to attempting to entice child in Louisiana
- Families welcome new members on Adoption Day in Westmoreland County
- Woman sought in robbery in Unity