Freeport Area approves middle school contracts after OK from Buffalo Township
As expected, the Buffalo Township Planning Commission and its supervisors on Wednesday gave Freeport Area School District's $33.1 million middle school building project the green light.
Anticipating the township's approval, the Freeport Area School Board awarded $27.6 million in contracts for the project Wednesday.
Massaro Construction was given the general construction contract.
The school is being built behind the Freeport Area High School off South Pike Road (Route 356) in Buffalo Township. It will house about 500 students in grades 6 to 8.
Groundbreaking is expected in mid-June, and the district hopes to open the school in fall 2015.
Project architect HHSDR Architects Engineers and its contractors have been working with Buffalo Township's planning commission and engineer since December in an effort to resolve stormwater plan deficiencies and correct numerous items that did not meet township ordinances.
“They met our ordinances; that's all we wanted them to do from the beginning,” said planning commission chairwoman Regan Cordier.
Issues that had been sticking points for months were resolved in a few weeks after the planning commission on May 7 delayed forwarding a decision onto supervisors — mainly due to problems with the site's stormwater management plan.
“Someone must have had an epiphany to get everything done,” said Supervisor John Haven.
The district's revised plans show larger stormwater detention ponds that, according to their calculations, will adequately control water runoff onto Monroe Road.
“We're satisfied that what they provided is adequate,” said township engineer Ken Howard of Bankson Engineers, who worked extensively with project designers.
The supervisors granted the district's request to build the gym and auditorium roofs 33.8 feet high, which is above the township's limit of 28 feet in a residential area.
The district said the additional height is required for competitive sports and to accommodate stage rigging and produce appropriate acoustics.
School board president Dan Lucovich said the district is pleased that it can move forward with the project.
“We can't wait to put that first shovel in the dirt and get things rolling,” he said.
Massaro Construction of O'Hara was awarded the general construction contract for the school at $18.7 million — just $3,000 less than a bid from Mike Coates Construction of Niles, Ohio.
Contractor: Work to start soon
Massaro officials said their crew is putting the finishing touches on the new Penn Hills Elementary School and should be able to move its crew to Freeport's site “within a couple of weeks.”
Other costs associated with the project are $1.7 million for design and engineering and $558,000 to install a left-turn lane from Route 356 to Silverview Drive and a right turn lane from Route 356 onto Cole Road.
Superintendent Christopher DeVivo said all activities scheduled for this summer at the high school campus will go on as scheduled.
Architects said parking lot curbing and paving won't be taking place until the end of the 2014-15 school year.
Once construction is completed, the current junior high school and the kindergarten center, both in Freeport, will be closed.
Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or email@example.com. George Guido is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Lower Burrell couple charged with 6 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty
- Pyrotechnics display turns from benefit to burden in Tarentum
- State store relocates to Highlands Mall
- Soggy conditions don’t deter people from Springdale jubilee
- New Kensington dedicates fireworks festivities to longtime coordinator
- Vandergrift man accused of sexual assault
- Plum landslide to be fixed after year
- Cash 5 jackpot winner sold in Springdale
- Union to work while ATI talks continue
- Brackenridge gets $98K federal grant to fund waterline project
- Man who threatened to jump from Tarentum Bridge in custody