Latrobe board will spend $9.4 million on athletic complex
The Greater Latrobe School Board on Monday approved six contracts worth almost $9.4 million for a multipurpose athletic complex at the junior-senior high school, but not before several residents voiced strong opposition to spending that amount on athletics.
The board unanimously approved the contracts totaling $9,393,582 for two lighted artificial turf fields, a field house with locker rooms, a weight room and meeting rooms, a concession stand and bleachers with seats for 2,000 spectators.
The contracts were awarded in the following amounts:
• General construction: Gurtner Construction Co. of Pittsburgh's West End, $3,699,300;
• Site construction work: Custom Contracting of Acme, $3,209,400;
• Heating, ventilating and air conditioning: Hranec Sheet Metal Inc. of South Union in Fayette County, $238,000;
• Plumbing: W.G. Tomko Inc. of Finleyville, $599,888;
• Electrical work: Allegheny City Electric Inc. of Ross, $1,152,500;
• Bleachers: Dant Clayton Sports Inc. of Louisville: $494,494.
In addition to the construction contracts, the board hired Jeff Zell Consultants Inc. of Coraopolis for construction quality assurance testing and inspection services for $59,990. The Institute for Building Technology and Safety of Ashburn, Va., was hired as an independent inspection agency for $9,050.
The school board in March approved a $10 million bond issue to pay for the multipurpose athletic complex, as well as other improvements for the district. The board had said that the debt service will not require the district to increase property taxes.
Director Dr. Michael Zorch told members of the audience who opposed the project he had misgivings about the project, especially the cost, but he felt that the improvements to the fields are needed.
Prior to the vote on the project, the board abruptly adjourned the meeting for several minutes when members of the audience began shouting questions and asking for additional time to speak. One of those in the audience called the board “gutless.”
Solicitor Ned Nakles spoke to some members to ask that they cease the interruptions to enable the meeting to continue.
Paul Upson of Unity attempted to speak in the middle of the meeting, claiming that Zorch had made a political statement.
“I bet none of you ran on a platform to spend this money,” Upson said.
Upson said the district might have been able to spend $2 million to upgrade its athletic facilities, rather than the higher amount, because so many taxpayers are living on a fixed income and can't afford higher taxes.
Timothy Thomas, a member of Unity's zoning hearing board, said the board should not be spending the taxpayers' money on artificial turf fields for practice, when schools such as Hempfield Area use grass for practice.
“This is absolutely absurd. Something is out of whack,” Thomas said.
Mary Maxwell of Latrobe said she suppports the board's decision, saying that sports have helped her children, and the students will be safer practicing at the high school instead of being bused to other locations.
Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-5252 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Labor United Celebration draws 25,000 to Northmoreland Park
- Unlike years past, strength of 2014 Steelers could be offense
- Harrison rejects criticism of disorderly conduct ordinance
- If ‘evil’ doesn’t apply to ISIS, what does?
- Apollo Council, solicitor prepare vacancy ordinance
- Visual search still hampered by image issues
- RX Fit brings cross-training to Ford City
- New Dayton food pantry sees more people each week
- Ford City explores beefing up code enforcement
- Steelers Lookahead: Previewing Sunday’s game vs. Cleveland
- Elizabeth Forward girls soccer looks to extend playoff streak