SCRANTON, Pa. -- Even as winter approaches, Scranton is preparing its newest summer attraction. Crews started work this week on a long-awaited splash park that could be ready by next summer.
An excavator worked to rip out the concrete floor of a pool that hasn't seen any swimmers in quite some time.
The Novembrino Pool Complex closed in 2011 after years of decay. But the work here is the first step in bringing new life to the West Scranton park.
It's welcome news around the corner at the West Side Diner.
"We'll finally be able to have something in our own little section of the town and not have to venture across town to go and have fun," Emily Teeple said.
The city is planning a splash park and green space for the Novembrino Complex. Neighbors say it hasn't been an inviting place over the past few years.
"I see kids go in there sometimes, you know, sometimes you have to mind your business. You try. But, I'm glad they're going to make a playground for the kids, the small kids," Priscilla Romos said.
Mayor Bill Courtright says security upgrades will be a big part of the $800,000 project.
"Every time we do a project from now on, the police tell me to light it up, you've got to light it up real bright. So, we'll light it up well and we're going to have cameras here that will be monitored down at the police station," Mayor Courtright said.
The city is considering tearing down all the trees and brush that have grown up around the park to reveal a spectacular view of the rest of the Scranton that people who visit the park can enjoy.
The mayor says it took a few years to collect the money to fund the project it's being paid for with city and federal grants.
Demolition will take a few more weeks, then work should pick up again in the spring.
"We hope to have it ready by next summer, but I can't promise that," the mayor added.