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Plum firm to supervise Freeport Area's $26M building project

| Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

The Freeport Area School Board on Wednesday night selected Russo Construction Services of Plum as the full-time construction coordinator for the middle school building project.

Russo will be paid 1 percent of the project's overall cost, which is estimated to be $26 million. That would be $260,000 if the actual price remains at that figure.

Russo is also involved with the elementary school being built in Plum. After the meeting, Dennis Russo said he also worked with Penn Hills on its new high school, which opened last January.

Freeport Area officials said Superintendent Christopher DeVivo will be considered the head of the project, with school board President Daniel Lucovich saying of DeVivo: “Everything will go through him.”

The middle school will house grades 6-8 and will be built adjacent to the current senior high, constructed in 1961.

Officials are hoping the new school will open in fall 2015.

The current junior high building and the kindergarten center, both in Freeport, will close under the district's new grade and building realignment.

Tax breaks OK'd

In another matter related to the school closings, the board also voted to approve tax breaks for any future developer interested in acquiring the properties.

The Freeport schools would be part of the Keystone Opportunity Expansion Zone.

The school board is one of three entities needed to proposed tax abatement plans. Freeport Council already approved the move and the third body, the Armstrong County Commissioners, is expected to act on the plan on Thursday at its 1:30 p.m. meeting.

The board also awarded a contract to David E. Wooster and Associates to provide a traffic study related to the new school construction.

Wooster's fees are not to exceed $17,755.

Sports ticket prices change

Adults attending some Freeport Area High School sporting events will see a ticket price increase, while students will see a reduction.

Adult tickets to boys basketball games have been hiked by a dollar to $5, while student tickets will be reduced by a dollar to $2.

Tickets for girls basketball, girls volleyball and night soccer games at Freeport's James Swartz Stadium will be $4 for adults and $2 for students.

Football ticket prices stay the same at $6 for reserved seats, $5 for adult general admission and $4 for students.

If any Freeport Area teams make the playoffs, the WPIAL or the PIAA would set those ticket prices, even if the school district would host those contests.

George Guido is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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