Renovations will begin soon to five pavilions at Renziehausen Park, in hopes that work will be complete by Memorial Day weekend.
McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko also confirmed that the dates for the city's annual International Village ethnic festival --- held at Renzie's Stephen Barry Field --- have been set for Aug. 14, 15 and 16.
At Wednesday's meeting, McKeesport City Council by 7-0 vote awarded a $184,750 contract to the lowest responsible bidder, Plavchak Construction Co. of Jefferson Hills, to paint and repair four pavilions and replace their roofs and signage.
In addition, two of the pavilions also will receive new LED lighting, benches and other updates. Funding for the work will come from the Allegheny Regional Asset District.
Pavilions to be repaired by Plavchak are numbers 1, 2, 3 and 7, according to bidding documents prepared by city engineer James Garvin.
The roof replacements alone represent nearly $107,000 of the total cost.
"You have to thank RAD," Cherepko said. "Each year, we generally have seen funding increases that allow us to make these improvements."
In addition, Cherepko said, pavilion number 4, near the spray park, is going to be renovated with the help of a private donor, working in conjunction with the McKeesport Lions Club.
A sixth pavilion near the new ballfields may be moved and rebuilt at a nearby location to allow for access improvements, the mayor said.
If the work is not complete by Memorial Day, Cherepko said, the city will work with any groups that have reserved a pavilion to find them new accommodations.
The newly announced dates for International Village have already caused some consternation. Festival organizers originally said the 2018 event would be held Aug. 21, 22 and 23.
At least one class reunion for McKeesport Senior High School alumni was scheduled to coincide with those dates, and the change has disappointed the organizers.
Cherepko said International Village traditionally begins on the third Tuesday of August, which would be Aug. 21. The move to one week earlier was designed to accommodate area school schedules.
"(McKeesport Area) school district decided to start school earlier --- they would have been starting the week of International Village" as originally scheduled, Cherepko said. "And the teachers would have been starting even earlier."
Many teachers help at International Village, he said, and many students perform in singing or dancing groups or volunteer in the ethnic food booths sponsored by area churches.
"Nobody wanted these churches to be short of volunteers," Cherepko said. "So we made the decision to move the festival up one week, and we will probably do it again next year, too."
Originally published April 04, 2018.