Residents Invited to Envision a ‘New’ Connellsville

Connellsville, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Environmental Council is inviting Connellsville residents to help develop a new vision for what the heart of the city should look like.  PEC will conduct a Community Design Workshop or “charrette” December 12-14 at Connellsville City Hall.

The charrette will visualize priority economic development projects as determined from Trail Town assessments, main street planning, and the multi-municipal planning underway in Connellsville.

Throughout the workshop, artists will help local residents to share their vision for how particular streets or buildings might look as they are redeveloped and better connected as a way to invite users of the Great Allegheny Passage and other area amenities.

The workshop schedule is as follows:

  • Friday, December 12, 3:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., brief discussion about Connellsville’s potential in a new economy, followed by a Walk-About and Open House.
  • Saturday, December 13, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., drop in Open House – stop in any time and share your vision with the Design Team.
  • Sunday, December 14, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., drop in Open House.
  • Sunday, December 14, 6 p.m., public presentation of concepts and strategies for redesigning the community.

Residents are invited to stop by any time during the Open House to talk with the Design Team about what they like, what they don’t like and opportunities they “see” for the community.

The awesome beauty and recreational assets of the Laurel Highlands, including the Great Allegheny Passage, are attracting people and businesses to the area, creating potential for a new, sustainable economy, said Brad Clemenson, PEC’s senior project manager for the Laurel Highlands Initiative.

Connellsville’s wealth during the Coal and Coke era is apparent in the ornate architecture along city streets, which give the City a unique character, a unique sense of “place”, Clemenson said, noting that this unique character can be restored as two distinct groups of new businesses are attracted:

  • Businesses that serve trail users and visitors to other nearby attractions, such as Ohiopyle State Park, Fallingwater and the National Road.
  • Businesses created by entrepreneurs who want to live near the tremendous scenery and outdoor recreation opportunities all around Connellsville, including Ohiopyle State Park, the Youghiogheny River and the trail.

This Community Design Workshop is being presented in partnership by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, PEC, the City of Connellsville, the Connellsville Redevelopment Authority, the Trail Towns Program of the Progress Fund and Connellsville Cultural Trust.

The workshop is being held as part of the Laurel Highlands Initiative.