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Borough Council Briefed on Upcoming Project, from Parking Garages to Playground Build

by on February 04, 2013 11:02 PM

State College Borough officials aren't taking any risks with less than five years left on the Pugh Street parking garage's useful life and will be closing it for a week in May or June to place down a sealant. 

The process won't interfere with either Penn State student move-out for the summer break or with the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, Communications and Grants Coordinator Courtney Hayden said at the State College Borough Council's regular meeting on Monday night. 

Council was given updates on many local projects set to begin in 2013. There's an emphasis on the parking garages because after two engineering firms confirmed the Pugh Street garage won't last past 2018, Council began exploring options and alternatives for the parking garage. 

Hayden said 2013 will be "a year of planning and facilitating new ideas" for the parking garages, including the Allen Street garage, the McAllister Street Parking deck and the Beaver Avenue parking garage. A student group will lead a lighting study to determine what lighting systems will be most energy efficient and cost-effective.

Kiosks will also be installed in metered lots, Hayden said, and a major media campaign will be launched to introduce them to the community. 

Minor maintenance will characterize the Pugh Street garage for the time being and Hayden said a parking study will take up the next year to determine what is the best and most reasonable next step to take once 2018 hits, whether that means tearing the garage down and building a new one right there or finding an entirely new site. 

This summer, a community-wide playground build is set for June 25 at Orchard Park, Hayden said. The non-profit group KaBoom!, which does playground builds is partnering with the Borough for the project. Half of the funding is coming from a grant, Hayden said. 

State College Mayor Elizabeth Goreham said the entire Council will be at the playground build and encouraged residents to come, too. 

Other improvements and construction include street, sidewalk and alley resurfacing. Hayden said resurfacing will occur on Patterson and Sparks Streets, East Foster and Fairmount Avenues, and on Nittany, Gill and McCormick Streets. All residents will be notified via a letter from the public works department that will tell them what to expect.

Summer construction is scheduled for the Atherton corridor improvement project, Hayden said, which includes the installation of handicap ramps, fences, sidewalk widening, new streetlight poles and new traffic signals. 

The major street reconstruction project for 2013 will occur South Garner Street, from Hamilton Street to Easterly Parkway. 

"The goal is to improve drainage allow for adequate pavement structure," Hayden said.

The street reconstruction is expected to take two to three months.

Traffic signal retiming is expected to occur in summer 2013 as well, but Hayden said there will be no interruption to service. 

Other items discussed at the Borough Council meeting: 

  • The CP3 zoning amendment was discussed during a public hearing. According to the Borough, this zoning amendment ordinance proposes to create a new zoning district named CP-3. The basis of this district is the CP-2 zoning district which allows for a variety of uses and a minimum lot area requirement of 500 square feet per multi-family housing unit. The current CP-2 district does not require redevelopment of sites to include a commercial component. Rather a site could be 100 percent multi-family housing. Further discussion at a work session will revolve around the amendment. 
  • Council received a report on property maintenance code meetings. A series of follow-up public meetings will follow and a work session. 


Laura Nichols is a StateCollege.com news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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