JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – Bottle Works moved forward on Thursday with improving its art campus in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.
Bottle Works personnel, community leaders and elected officials held a groundbreaking ceremony for the facility’s new pavilion/outdoor classroom.
The project includes transforming a 3,300-square-foot blighted lot at the corner of Cambria Place and Third Avenue into a space that can provide a range of activities, including art demonstrations, musical performances and community events.
“We are thrilled to embark on this exciting journey with the construction of a pavilion (and) outdoor classroom,” said Melody Tisinger, Bottle Works’ director of advancement and operations. “The project represents another milestone for our organization and the community.
“We look forward to the pavilion becoming a place where people of all backgrounds can come together to celebrate and share in the beauty of art, culture and heritage.”
Designed by Pashek + MTR, of Pittsburgh, the 30-by-40-foot offset roof pavilion will feature industrial fans to ensure a comfortable environment for events and gatherings; a state-of-the-art, interchangeable LED lighting system that can be customized for different events and occasions; Belgium rock benches; and full electrical outlets.
Surrounding the pavilion will be landscaping comprising native, noninvasive plants that will aid in stormwater management and enhance its aesthetic appeal.
“This project was awakened through the experience of COVID-19,” Tisinger said. “We wanted to provide opportunities for families to unite and commune with one another, and we saw that they were more apt to do that if there was an outdoor space, so the idea of the pavilion began.”
She said the pavilion completes outdoor improvements to the Bottle Works campus.
“This is our effort to help remove blight and create amazing spaces for families and the community to gather and celebrate one another,” Tisinger said.
John Yerger, Bottle Works’ board president, said the outdoor space will be unique because it’s not a typical pavilion.
“It’s integrated with everything else that we’ve done before, and it’s another piece of the puzzle,” he said. “It’s taking a fairly ugly piece of land and turning it into something much more attractive.”
Funding for the project was made possible through local and state grants.
“We’ve had a vision of where we want to get to and what we need to do, and this has certainly been a part of it,” Yerger said. “We’re excited about the direction we’re going as an organization and where the arts is moving Johnstown in such a positive way.”
The project was awarded to Marmat Construction Inc., of Hooversville, and construction is set to begin Oct. 1.
“We’re really excited to get this moving,” Tisinger said.
Kelly Urban is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. She can be reached at (814) 532-5073. Follow her on Twitter @KellyUrban25.