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New facility boosts Adelphoi's mission

| Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Sean Stipp | Tribune-Review
Westmoreland County Community College President Daniel J. Obara and Westmoreland County Commissioner Ted Kopas talk with Ketterer Charter School Principal Eric Guldin as Adelphoi celebrates its campus expansion, which includes a new school and secure facility.  The new construction includes six classrooms, conference rooms and a cafetorium. A new 7,550 square-foot facility will accommodate 15 youth.
Sean Stipp | Tribune-Review
James Bendel, former executive director of Adelphoi, speaks with Congressman Tim Murphy as Adelphoi celebrates its campus expansion, which includes a new school and secure facility.  The new construction includes six classrooms, conference rooms and a cafetorium. A new 7,550-square-foot facility will accommodate 15 youth.
Sean Stipp | Tribune-Review
Adelphoi celebrates its campus expansion, which includes a new school and secure facility.  The new construction includes six classrooms, conference rooms and a cafetorium. A new 7,550-square-foot facility will accommodate 15 youth.

The soothing beige walls, linoleum floors and brightly lighted classrooms look just like any other public school in the area, and that's just what officials at Adelphoi Village were hoping for with the newly built 19,000-square-foot alternative education building.

“The kids who come here live (in Westmoreland County), and they're accustomed to top-notch education facilities,” said Adelphoi President and CEO Blair Kucinski. “It just enhances their attitudes and makes our job so much easier.”

The school and a separate secure facility were dedicated last week with a ceremony, including a prayer from Adelphoi's founder, the Right Rev. Paschal Morlino, that teachers and students “may always pursue the truth, know the truth and know (God) the source of all truth.”

The construction of six classrooms, conference rooms, offices and a multi-purpose room, in addition to the 7,550-square-foot high-security facility with room for 15 boys, was part of a $4 million capital campaign with a groundbreaking about a year ago.

“It gives us the ability to give a first-class education,” Morlino said.

The secure facility has a control room that operates magnetic locks throughout the building, which is surrounded by chain-link fence and barbed wire. The locks are opened with employee key fobs that are tracked by a computer system and the security cameras have been updated with real-time feeds, some able to rotate and zoom.

Morlino said he never could have dreamed of where Adelphoi is today, having founded the organization with all volunteers and one home for boys. Now, the organization has more than 900 employees providing services in 34 Pennsylvania counties.

Last year, Adelphoi bought neighboring Latrobe properties to expand the campus to 20 acres.

Ralph Liberatore, Adelphoi board chairman, acknowledged all the donors as well as local dignitaries present at the ceremony, including state Sen. Kim Ward, R-Hempfield; Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair; Westmoreland County Commissioners Ted Kopas and Tyler Courtney; and Latrobe City Manager Alex Graziani.

Kopas said the addition will help increase the positive influence of Adelphoi.

“Through its history, it's proved it can help young people and families at risk, and this facility can go a long way with helping advance that mission,” he said.

Liberatore said the new space, especially the education facility, creates a more complete campus.

Previously, classes for the day-to-day students, some of whom come from Greater Latrobe, Derry Area and Ligonier Valley, were held in modular buildings.

The board chairman said he appreciates the support of Latrobe and Unity neighbors, especially for the students, echoed by Kucinski.

“I think it sends a message that we care about them,” Kucinski said.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or sfederoff@tribweb.com.

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