South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Tom Smith
South Pittsburgh Reporter Editor 

Designers present plans for building and playground at 24th and E. Carson

 

Plans for 2400 E. Carson Street call for renovating the building to be used for a community daycare center and therapy program for children ages 5 and under that experience some behavioral and emotional disruptions. The 4,000 sq. ft. vacant lot will include a playground and parking for the center.

Representatives from PW Campbell representing WAG4LP presented plans for two properties at the South Side Community Council's May Development Activities Meeting (DAM) via Zoom.

The properties are a building at 2400 E. Carson Street and a vacant lot across Carey Way at 94 S. 24th Street. Plans call for renovating the building to be used for a community daycare center and therapy program for children ages 5 and under that experience some behavioral and emotional disruptions. The 4,000 sq. ft. vacant lot will include a playground and parking for the center.

The facility will operate from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and will have 30 staff and accommodate 50 children.

The space on the first floor of 2400 E. Carson Street is "currently wide open" on the first floor and will be divided into classrooms and office space. The building will get ADA updates along with new mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems.

The second floor will consist of office space and therapy rooms. The third floor will include additional offices and restroom facilities.

The PW Campbell representatives said the building isn't registered as a historic building, but is located within the E. Carson Street Historic District.

It was also noted that over the years the original windows were replaces and many were filled in with brick. The proposal includes opening up some of the space where the windows were to bring the building back somewhat to the original industrial look.

Although they don't plan to keep the Baron Batch elephant mural on the front of the building, the garage door the mural is on will be filled in, they are working with Mr. Batch on introducing art into the first floor of the building.

In the rear of the building, they undertook a structural analysis of the iconic chimney and determined through age, seismic activity or weather occurrence, that the chimney was "structurally unstable." Several South Side residents asked is there was a way to save at least part of the 40 ft. chimney. The designers said they would look at options, but weren't hopeful about saving even part of the chimney as it affects even the lower portion of the building.

The 24th Street lot, between Carey Way and Sarah Street, would include a parking lot for 13 cars and requires a hearing before the Zoning Board. The playground is proposed to have landscaping, an eight-foot privacy fence and a shed for playground equipment.

The project includes new sidewalks on E. Carson and 24th streets and some new tree pits.

Concerns by those in attendance included what the plans were for landscaping and maintenance of the parking lot. The designers were also asked to consider a smaller six-foot privacy fence and trees for buffers to soften the look of the playground and not have a "giant wall of vinyl-coated fence."

The designers said the eight-foot fence was for the safety of the children. Given the age of the children at the center, the residents said a six-foot fence should be all that was needed.

Jody Schurman from the Local Review Committee said while the building is non-contributing to the historic district, the committee still appreciated that they were recreating the industrial look of the windows. He added while the plans call for the building to be painted, something the historic district doesn't permit, they would be able to paint it since it had already been painted in the past. They would, however, have to use historic colors.

Mr. Schurman said the full Local Review Committee would be willing to meet with the designers before going before the city's Historic Review Commission.

Other concerns expressed by local residents included where the additional parking would be located. According to the square footage of the building, 42 spaces would be required and only 13 included with the parking lot behind the building.

There were also concerns that with 50 children in the building, that as many as 50 additional cars would be dropping off and picking up children on 24th Street adding to an already congested area during morning and evening rush hours. A traffic study was suggested to see what the impact would be on the neighborhood.

Before adjourning for the evening, it was suggested the designers return to the South Side Community Council's June DAM meeting with answers to the questions asked by community members.

 

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