Skateboard enthusiasts can keep their eyes -- and their computers -- trained on Carnegie Park this week.
Excavation is expected to begin today on the 13,000-square-foot Pitcher Park Memorial Skatepark near the main picnic grove in Carnegie Park, and the entire construction project will be filmed, thanks to the donation of a camera from GoPro. The camera will provide a live video feed to the Pitcher Park website, www.pitcherpark.com.
Construction of the $600,000 project is expected to take four to five months.
"I think it'll be really cool to document the whole process from beginning to end," Mary Shea Pitcher told Carnegie council Monday after officials unanimously approved a lease agreement so that work can begin in the borough-owned park. After the skate park is completed, it will belong to Carnegie.
"This is a very positive step forward, Mary," Carnegie council President Rick D'Loss told Mrs. Pitcher, who spearheaded the skate park project as a memorial to her two sons who drowned in 2008.
Designed by Grindline Skateparks of Seattle, the skate park will feature an unusual pipe, two bowls and an intricate street course. Much of the construction is being funded by the nonprofit Ken & Carol Schultz Foundation, but 15 percent of the cost will be paid for by the borough. Drawings of the proposed skate park can be seen on the Pitcher Park website.
Mrs. Pitcher has raised funds and obtained donated services and materials. Currently, she is looking for 100 tri-axle truckloads of clean fill.
In the fall, she and other skate park backers held a haunted trail at the park to raise money, which will be repeated this year.
Project supporters believe the skate park will be a draw to Carnegie Park and to the town of Carnegie.
"It'll be great when it's done," Councilman Mike Sarsfield said. "It'll be a plus."
Also at Monday's meeting:
• Council appointed Stephen Beuter as borough manager. He has been serving as interim manager since former manager and police Chief Jeffrey Harbin retired this summer.
Contract terms are still being worked out, Mr. Beuter said after the meeting.
In other appointments, Dan Butera was named working foreman with the borough's Public Works Department, and Pete Schepis was named assistant working foreman.
• Council tabled action to advertise an ordinance that would recognize the Carnegie Volunteer Fire and Rescue Bureau as the borough's official fire company.
Mr. Sarsfield said officials were close to reaching an agreement and expect to move forward with the action next month.
• Council will hold a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 9 to discuss whether Capitol Drive should be made a one-way street and to talk about parking issues on nearby Beechwood Avenue.
• During public comments, Bob Sorchilla of Seventh Avenue expressed concern about the vacant home next to him that has been on the demolition list for 10 years.
"One drop of a match and it's gone," he said.
Council President Rick D'Loss responded that the borough has 30 houses on the demolition list but that grant money usually pays for only a few of them at a time. Most homes cost $8,000 to $11,000 to raze.
Officials said they would try to help Mr. Sorchilla.
"I'm sorry that this has been so long next to you," Mr. D'Loss said.
"This needs to go," Councilwoman Carol Covi added.
Carole Gilbert Brown, freelance writer: email@example.com.