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Separate firms for each Carlynton School District project

| Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The Carlynton School District renovation project will move forward with two engineering firms and two architectural firms.

School board members voted 9-0 at their meeting March 14 to award contracts to BDA Engineering and Loftus Engineers, LLC for services in electrical and heating and air conditioning improvements at Carnegie and Crafton elementary schools.

BDA will oversee the design for the upgrades at Carnegie Elementary at a cost of $128,600, while Loftus will handle Crafton at a cost of $136,411.

Project manager Jon Thomas recommended the board hire two separate firms in order to maintain an aggressive design and construction schedule. Construction is slated for this summer, with partial completion by early September and full upgrades in place by mid-October.

“We are running at a pretty brisk pace for the design,” said Thomas, president and co-founder of construction management firm Thomas and Williamson. “We get the manpower of two firms instead of one, so that would reduce any risk of missing the schedule. Secondly, it's always better to have more brains around the table.”

The board also approved work orders for Thomas and Williamson to oversee design and construction of the electrical and HVAC upgrades at the elementary schools, at a total cost of $141,062. That figure represents 3 percent of the estimated $4.7 million cost of the total project.

School directors also voted 9-0 to approve Valentour English Bodnar & Howell to provide architectural services at Carnegie Elementary and Landmarks Design Associates to provide architectural services at Crafton Elementary.

The architects will oversee the design of a captured vestibule at the elementary schools, which requires relocation of the main office in both schools.

Directors approved a work order for $60,406 for Valentour English Bodnar & Howell for the project at Carnegie Elementary, while the work order price for Landmarks Design is under negotiation.

Thomas said preparation for the captured vestibule project could begin this summer in Carnegie Elementary, while actual construction could take place in Crafton Elementary. Other security upgrades, such as new exterior doors and a new entry system, could be folded in as part of the project.

More upgrades?

Looking to the future, board President David Roussos said he would like to look into aesthetic upgrades at the district's schools. He said he'd like to consider those as part of more extensive renovations planned down the road.

“If we contend we're a premier school district, I think we should consider how we can improve our look,” he said.

Roussos said he'd also like to look into conducting a traffic study to deal with the “horrible” parking situation when after-school events take place at Carlynton Junior/Senior High School.

“People are starting to park anywhere they want to,” he said. “It's been impossible for buses to get through. I think it needs to be addressed.”

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-8527 or

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