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New Kensington repairing city-owned garage on Fourth Avenue

| Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 12:56 a.m.

New Kensington officials said they are repairing the city-owned parking garage on Fourth Avenue.

Employees and students at the Citizens School of Nursing, located in the former Citizens General Hospital on Seventh Street, have voiced concerns about the safety of the three-story structure.

Complaints include poor lighting, rusted stairwells, a non-functioning elevator, poor winter maintenance and leaking ceilings

With three open houses at the school coming up, administrator Linda Ebel said she's concerned about the parking garage as prospective students' first exposure to the school. “We want our students to feel safe and like it's a good environment,” Ebel said.

Councilman Tim DiMaio said the city recently fixed stairwell lighting, several doors and decking. He said the elevator has been repaired but must be inspected before it can be used.

DiMaio and City Clerk Dennis Scarpiniti said they plan to bring in an electrician to address lighting elsewhere in the garage and plan to power-wash and paint the stairwells.

DiMaio was skeptical the leaks could be fixed if it's water trickling through expansion joints in the cement. But city officials said they would examine whether any pipes or other areas are leaking.

Ebel said a homeless person who had been frequenting the garage has not been seen recently.

Mayor Tom Guzzo said the city would do all it could to ensure students and others using the garage felt safe.

Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4680 or lhayes@tribweb.com.

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