Kiski Area opening school, repairing another, getting rid of third

Brian C. Rittmeyer
| Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, 9:16 a.m.

The Kiski Area School District is preparing to open a school, renovate a school and get rid of a school.

Contrary to rumor in the community, the district's new Upper Elementary School will be ready for the first day of school on Sept. 3, Superintendent John Meighan said Monday. It is expected to house about 600 fifth- and sixth-grade students.

An orientation for students and parents will be held Aug. 27 at 6:30 p.m. for fifth grade, and 7:30 p.m. for sixth grade.

A public dedication for the school, built at the site of the former North Washington Elementary School, will be scheduled, Meighan said.

The school board Monday approved about $26,300 in change orders for the project. They include a security camera, power for retractable basketball hoops, a roof drain, wall repairs and a concrete moisture barrier at the gymnasium.

Kiski Area East Primary School, formerly Vandergrift Elementary, will be closed for the 2013-14 school year while undergoing renovations. Kindergarten through fourth-grade students who would have attended that school will be housed at Washington Elementary School.

The district is closing Washington Elementary. It had been used last school year for students from North Washington Elementary.

The school board Monday awarded about $4.1 million in contracts for work at Kiski Area East:

• General: Moret Construction, $2.5 million

• Electric: Allegheny City Electric, $650,000

• Heating, ventilation and air conditioning: R&B Mechanical, $522,000

• Plumbing: K&K Plumbing, $417,000

• Roofing material: Garland Roofing Materials, $18,455

Work on the school in Vandergrift is expected to start in September and be finished for the 2014-15 school year.

Rich Sczur, the district's maintenance supervisor, was named construction manager for the project. He will be paid a stipend of $3,000 per month, up to $30,000.

District officials are considering options for disposing of Bell-Avon Elementary, which closed at the end of the 2012-13 school year.

Meighan said Bell Township supervisors have withdrawn their interest in the building. Based on a letter from township Solicitor John Pallone, Meighan said township officials did not feel they would be able to maintain the building.

Supervisors Chairman John Bowman could not be reached Monday night for comment.

The school board's buildings and grounds committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 11 to discuss options for unloading the school. Meighan said it could be done by sealed bids, an open auction or a private sale.

The committee will discuss the options in-depth and make a recommendation to the full school board, Meighan said.

The school board Monday approved donating furniture and other items from the school to the Avonmore Public Library. The board approved holding a silent auction for other excess furniture and equipment; a date was not set.

In other business

• The school board accepted the resignation of head girls varsity volleyball coach Ellen Toy. Toy was rediagnosed in February with gastric cancer, after having been in remission for three years.

Margaret Jones will replace Toy and be paid $5,197. She resigned as assistant girls varsity volleyball coach. Dan Clair was named to replace Jones; he will be paid $4,296.

• The board approved an agreement with LRG Prep LLC, as bid and awarded by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, to use the district's name, nickname, mascot and logos in the sale of merchandise at large retail chain stores.

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

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