After months of construction and traffic detours in Ligonier’s business district, the $3.5 million renovation of the borough’s Diamond Park is nearly complete and should be finished a week before Fort Ligonier Days on Oct. 12.
Although the rainy weather caused some setbacks, Darr Construction “remains on schedule to complete the project on time” for the Oct. 5 celebration pf the completion of the Diamond, Councilwoman Mariah Fisher, chairwoman of the borough’s parks and recreation committee, told borough officials Thursday.
Darr Construction will have its crews work Saturdays to ensure the project is finished on schedule, Fisher told council.
Work around the Diamond will continue at a “hectic” pace for the next three weeks, said Greg Elliott, borough engineer. Fisher reminded residents that the area remains an active work zone and they should not walk through the Diamond.
It always was the goal to have the renovations completed by the start of Fort Ligonier Days, a three-day festival beginning Oct. 12, Council President James St. Clair said. Borough officials broke ground on the project in January, but construction did not pick up speed until April.
“The Diamond is looking good,” said Ligonier Mayor Ormond “Butch” Bellas.
A new copper roof on the bandstand should be completed next week, Fisher said. Railings are being installed on the bandstand, which will have a flagstone floor and wider stairs.
A stone veneer to match the Ligonier Valley Library has been placed at the Diamond. The underground utilities were replaced and a snow melt system installed. Sound and light systems were improved and new sidewalks were laid.
Seating capacity along the walkways and around the bandstand will be increased by about a third.
The new landscaping will include small dogwood trees and larger trees that are to arrive next week, Fisher said. A new irrigation system and decorative lights were added at the circular park, which is located at the intersection of Main and Market streets.
The street around the Diamond has been widened and utilities have been connected to the borough’s Town Hall, across from the Diamond.
Borough and the Ligonier Valley Chamber of Commerce officials Thursday unveiled plans for celebrating the renaissance of Diamond Park from 3 to 9 p.m. Oct. 5.
Ralph Bennett, a local historian and former journalist, will give the keynote address to celebrate the history and new legacy of the Diamond — which had not been renovated for more than 50 years.
The celebration of the new Diamond Park will include the Ligonier Valley High School band, installation of a time capsule in the park, a cider toast to express appreciation to donors, local merchants, customers and visitors for supporting this historic renovation.
Three bands will provide entertainment from 4 to 9 p.m.
Caricature and balloon artists and other other family-friendly and children’s activities will be held around the Diamond. Firefighters will be selling hot dogs, hamburgers and drinks.
Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252 or [email protected]