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$93,580 deal made to clear way for WCCC campus in Latrobe

| Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, 8:14 a.m.

A Burgettstown company has been selected to demolish nine commercial and residential buildings in Latrobe to clear the way for Westmoreland County Community College's Latrobe campus.

The county redevelopment authority awarded the demolition contract this week to A.W. McNabb LLC for $93,580, contingent upon four buildings in the area bounded by Depot and Jefferson streets and Loyalhanna Creek not being determined historically significant, said April Kopas, authority executive director. McNabb was the lowest of four bidders, which requires removing asbestos and clearing the site of the debris.

Federal funds from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development are being used for the demolition, so the architecture and the interiors of the buildings must be photographed, said Hallie Chatfield, revitalization coordinator for the redevelopment authority.

The state Bureau of Historic Preservation has sought more information on those four buildings, Chatfield said. The process is typical when buildings more than 50 years old are being demolished, she added.

Because of the need for state clearance before the project can begin, no starting date for the demolition has been set, Kopas said. The county wanted to have the project completed within 100 days after demolition began.

The demolition could result in some traffic restrictions, including closing Bank Street, which abuts the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks, Kopas said.

The community college plans to begin construction of the new 26,000-square-foot Laurel Education Center in the spring and have it completed in time for the beginning of the 2014-2015 academic year. The community college's Latrobe campus is in a former Kennametal Corp. building along Lloyd Avenue, near the south bank of Loyalhanna Creek.

With the cost of property acquisition, construction and equipment for the education center, the campus will cost the school close to $10 million, said Ronald Eberhardt, vice president of administrative services.

Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

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