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Work began this week on renovations to the first of five pavilions at Renziehausen Park.
And, in a separate development, McKeesport officials have given a contractor orders to proceed with construction of a new amphitheater at Gergely Park on the Youghiogheny River waterfront.
General contractor on the $184,750 project to repair four pavilions at Renzie is Plavchak Construction Co. of Jefferson Hills. The work will include new roofs, signage, benches and other updates to four pavilions.
McKeesport officials had hoped the renovations would be completed in the spring. But A.J. Tedesco, city community development director, told The Almanac the city decided to plan the work around pavilion rentals to minimize inconvenience to park visitors.
A fifth pavilion, near the spray park, is being renovated this year through the efforts of a private donor working in conjunction with the McKeesport Lions Club.
Meanwhile, McKeesport officials recently gave Lutterman Excavating of Hempfield Twp., Westmoreland County, permission to proceed with the work at Gergely Park.
Last year, Lutterman was the low bidder on a $173,200 project to replace a dilapidated wooden fishing pier near the Kane Regional Center with a new, concrete pier.
This year, Lutterman was awarded a $62,600 contract to remove the remnants of the old amphitheater overlooking the fishing pier and to install new benches, railings and drainage.
The amphitheater was used in the 1980s and '90s for concerts and other events, but was rarely used after the dissolution of the old Mon-Yough Riverfront Entertainment Council, and had fallen into disrepair.
“The marina, the Palisades and the Great Allegheny Passage are attractions that bring people from an array of different communities into the City of McKeesport,” Tedesco said in a press release. “Making improvements to Gergely Park will allow it to be utilized in ways we haven’t seen in recent years, and our vision is to bring back riverfront recreation.”
Mayor Michael Cherepko said the city is hoping to bring entertainment --- including concerts and other special events --- back to the Youghiogheny waterfront to complement the other nearby recreational offerings.
“In the City of McKeesport, our recreational offerings are second to none,” Cherepko said in a prepared statement. “We have something for everyone, and a lot of that is present right along our riverfront.”
Money for the replacement of the pier and the amphitheater was provided by a portion of the city's Community Development Block Grant, or CDBG, funding, provided through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Originally published July 03, 2018.