Mon Valley Alliance acquires old Charleroi football stadium

Scott Beveridge
Observer Reporter

Charleroi Area School Board agreed to sell the former high school football stadium Tuesday for $1 to an economic development group that plans to use the property to connect the borough to the Monongahela River.

The deal also transfers ownership of the nearby, blighted former Atlas building to Mon Valley Alliance, which plans to quickly secure the condemned structure in preparation for it to be demolished.

“It’s a real liability to pedestrians and the people living next door,” said John LaCarte, vice chairman of the alliance.

“There is no doubt the building will be coming down,” he said.

The school board initially declined to transfer the properties to the alliance, and instead reached a sales agreement with an Aliquippa firm in a deal that fell through in March. The district sought proposals again for the properties, and then opted to choose the alliance plan because the board thought it was in the best interest of the community, LaCarte said Wednesday.

“We believe this is a win-win for the community and school district,” Charleroi Superintendent Ed Zelich said.

“It’s tough to turn down $100,000. However, if you are interested in what’s best for Charleroi down the road, you had to support the alliance,” added board member Tom Nutting.

LaCarte said a comprehensive plan would need to be developed for the stadium property near the Second Street boat ramp to the river before making a decision on how it will be developed as a recreational asset.

“We feel this is the project that will lead to a renaissance of downtown Charleroi,” he said.

He said Charleroi Council has agreed to invest $100,000 of its community block funds administered by the Washington County Redevelopment Authority to demolish the Atlas building at Second Street and McKean Avenue.

The demolition project would need to be discussed with the state Historical and Museum Commission because Charleroi is on the National Register of Historic Districts, LaCarte said.