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Kiski Area's Allegheny-Hyde Park Elementary School to have security improvements accelerated

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Coming up

• Who: Kiski Area School Board

• What: Public hearings on closing Washington Elementary School and Bell-Avon Elementary School.

• When: 6 p.m. tonight (Washington Elementary); 6 p.m. Tuesday (Bell-Avon)

• Where: Board room, administrative center, Hyde Park Road, Allegheny Township

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Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, 1:01 a.m.

Plans for security improvements to the entrance at Kiski Area's Allegheny-Hyde Park Elementary School have been accelerated, district Superintendent John Meighan said.

Meighan discussed district security at a school board meeting Wednesday after resident Mabel Mazza asked what the district is doing on the issue since the shooting at a school in Connecticut last month.

Meighan said the district plans to reconfigure the entry at Allegheny-Hyde Park this summer. The work was not originally planned for this year, he said.

The plan involves creating a “mouse trap” entrance, in which visitors have to go through a school's office before gaining access to the rest of the building.

Meighan said a meeting planned for Feb. 20 will include Westmoreland County Sheriff Jonathan Held, the chiefs of police of the district's municipalities and state police.

They will talk about how they can best work together to ensure and increase student safety, Meighan said.

A “hard look” is being given to upgrading security at the district's high school, plans for which will be presented to the school board this spring, Meighan said.

Meighan said he has hopes that in the wake of the incident in Newtown, Conn., grant money will be available to pay for school resource officers. He said the district had pursued such funding before but was turned down.

Building project update

District architect Jay Johnston of Canzian/Johnston & Associates and Steve Peterman, a project manager with Massaro Construction Management Services, updated the school board on the status of the district's $30 million elementary building project.

The school board will be asked to approve several change orders for the new Kiski Area Upper Elementary School totaling $37,600, Peterman said. The board meets on Monday.

The upper elementary school is being built by substantially enlarging the former North Washington Elementary School.

It is expected to open for next school year, and will house all of the district's fifth- and sixth-graders.

Previous changes to the construction resulted in a credit to the district of $16,000, Peterman said.

The changes to be approved range from less than $400 for upsizing pumps due to design changes, to more than $11,000 for the addition of a concrete slab.

Work on an addition at Mamont Elementary, to be renamed Kiski Area South Primary School, is essentially complete, Johnston said.

Planning for work on Vandergrift Elementary, known as Kiski Area East Primary School, is moving along. Johnston said the district is on schedule to begin seeking bids for work there in April.

A state-required hearing on the district's plan to close Washington Elementary School will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday in the board room at the administrative center on Hyde Park Road.

A hearing on closing Bell-Avon Elementary will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the board room.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4701 or

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