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Jeannette School District continues energy, security upgrades

| Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The Jeannette School District has until Oct. 6 to spend the remainder of its federally funded low-interest bond on energy-saving improvements.

The funds — through the Qualified School Construction Bond (QSCB) program — must be repaid at an interest rate of .7 percent.

The program is a federal borrowing program initiated as part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

This week, the board voted to spend nearly $57,000 in QSCB funds on plumbing upgrades at the McKee building and nearly $9,000 on an automated controls system for the heating and cooling of the building.

The district has spent portions of the federal funding at the McKee building on a new roof, new heating system and new lights and fixtures.

The project also involved security upgrades at each district building.

The board voted to table a motion this week that would have enabled Allegheny City Electric to push back the date of completion for work in the McKee building and would have allowed for only substantial completion by Sept. 13.

Board members are concerned the project will not be finished by the time the funds need to be spent by Oct. 6.

Board members discussed the project, which was supposed to have been completed last week, and said the company had all summer to complete the work.

Some members expressed frustration that the work would have to be done while the children are in school as classes are set to resume on Monday.

The district is going to go back to the company to add penalties that would go into effect if the work is not completed by a certain time before approving the delay.

The board also voted to table the approval of four payments — totalling nearly $5,000 — to McLean Architects for ongoing work to the entrance security improvements at each building.

Board member Mark Gogolsky said he was concerned that the work wasn't finished in the McKee building and he felt the entrances looked “like a mess.”

Some board members felt they weren't sure what work each bill was paying for and there were other concerns about the invoices as well.

Randy Highlands, board member, asked to table the motions until the board understood the invoices and that the work was completed.

Kristie Linden is an editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at or 724-838-5154.