District land going to borough
By Stephanie Hacke
Published: Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, 12:12 p.m.
The gift of more than 18 acres from the West Jefferson Hills School District will allow Jefferson Hills Borough to move forward with plans for a new public works garage and salt storage center.
Yet, before they handed off the property for a $1 transfer and essential gift, school board members wanted to learn more about the planned structure and ensure it would not affect district functions.
“Obviously we're concerned about the physical appearance, as well as the physical location,” said school board President Anthony Angotti, noting that the public works facilities are set to be built near the borough offices on Old Clairton Road and near Jefferson Elementary.
Board members, in an 8-0 vote last week, approved the formal transfer of a parcel of land to Jefferson Hills Borough along Old Clairton Road behind Jefferson Elementary School to be used for the building of a public works garage.
Board Vice President Shauna D'Alessandro was absent.
The district will not assume any costs from the deed transfer and other title changes, said solicitor Lisa Colautti. There also is a provision in the deed that if the municipality stops using the land for borough purposes, then the land would revert back to the district, she said.
The project to build a new public works facility in Jefferson Hills has been in talks for several years and funding recently was secured through a bond issue to finance the approximately $3.5 million project, borough Manager Doug Arndt told school district officials.
“That current garage is very inadequate,” said Arndt, also noting that Jefferson Hills currently does not have a salt storage facility, which is planned to be built on the land.
District officials looked at the property and determined they had no use for it, Angotti said.
However, the site is the best one that has been considered for the borough facility, said architect Dave McLean of McLean Architects LLC. Access to the facilities would likely come from Old Clairton Road.
School board members questioned if the project would affect district activities, such as the cross country track behind Jefferson Elementary. They determined there would be no conflict.
The design and permitting process likely will take up to 12 weeks for the public works facility, officials said. Plans are for the structures to be open and operational by 2014.
West Jefferson Hills School Board will hold its October work session on Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m.
The meeting has been moved due to conflicts with the Pennsylvania School Board Association conference in Hershey.
The meeting will be held at Thomas Jefferson High School, 310 Old Clairton Road, Jefferson Hills.
Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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