Grant should complete Trinity Park

November 17, 2018

Nearly seven years in the making, Trinity Park in Somerset Borough is nearing completion.

With a $50,000 Department of Conservation and Natural Resources grant announced by Gov. Tom Wolf Thursday, the park is on pace to be finished in 2019, according to Somerset Inc. board member Steve Spochart.

The grant requires matched funds, and Spochart said the group has raised about $10,000 so far.

“We’ll have to raise money or use some funds on hand,” he said. “But there will be an effort, now that we know (the grant was awarded), to solicit additional funds.”

State Rep. Matt Dowling, who represents parts of southern Somerset County, announced the grant in a press release Friday.

“These grants will allow our local communities to improve and rejuvenate areas in need of further development,” Dowling said. “Development projects are vital to our district as they provide job opportunities to those in surrounding areas and, upon completion, help increase tourism in our communities.”

Spochart said the original concept for the park along West Main Street began in 2012 and that a public meeting was held in 2013 to present the master plan.

So far the first two phases of the park have been completed, which included adding brick seat walls and landscaping.

Somerset Inc. Executive Director Regina Coughenour said that the final phase will include adding a stage toward the Patriot Street side, and possibly sidewalks.

“I’m super excited. We’re really excited,” Coughenour said. “The park has been a labor of love for so many people in our organization.”

Spochart added that additional lighting and a landscaped screen to help contain sound from the stage are also in the plan.

He said the park, which has already received two DCNR grants, may cost about $350,000, under the original estimate of about $400,000. He said the final work should begin in the spring or summer.

Coughenour said that an interesting aspect of the park is that bricks from the Trinity Lutheran Church, which burned down at the site on Christmas Eve in 1965, are being incorporated.

“They’re literally putting the history of the building, that historic church that used to be there, back into the park,” she said.

To donate to the matching grant funds, contact Somerset Inc. at 814-443-1748.

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