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Proposed community center in O'Hara stalls for at least another month

| Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

O'Hara Council last week delivered unwanted news to supporters of a new $8.2 million community center.

Proposals for site work on the Powers Run Road facility had to be sent out for new bids because the first set of bids came in too high. That will stall the project at least one month.

Other bids for electrical, plumbing and general contracting still are being reviewed.

Members of the Community Center Board, who were not at the meeting, had hoped that contracts would be awarded in June and a groundbreaking would follow this summer.

“Everyone is sharpening their pencils, trying to keep the construction costs within reason,” said Barb Satler, interim executive director. “If donations continue to come in, our new community center will be under construction this summer.”

With a capital campaign under way for more than three years, volunteers are closing in on the total cost. At last count, Satler said, organizers were within $500,000.

Plans call for a 28,000-square-foot center to be built on the same 11-acre campus where the existing facility sits. The new site will include a gym, multipurpose room, meeting space and a cafe. It will replace the current Boyd Community Center, where leaders said programs have outgrown the classroom space in the 32-year-old former elementary school.

Councilman Bart Bodkin said funding will squarely determine whether council votes to move forward.

Council President Bob Smith said new bids for site work will be opened during the regular meeting at 7 p.m. July 1.

“It's our hope that we will vote on July 8,” he said.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at tpanizzi@tribweb.com.

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