Site tour of new Twin Rivers school leaves McKeesport Area officials aglow
McKeesport Area School District's newest building is taking shape.
District officials toured the partially completed Twin Rivers Primary/Intermediate School on Wednesday, some for the first time.
“It's fabulous. It takes my breath away,” school board president Patricia Maksin said of the massive structure that will house half of the district's kindergarten through fifth-grade students. “I'm so thrilled because this is the 21st-century facility that our kids deserve.”
School district officials last year modified a plan that called for three primary/intermediate schools for kindergarten through sixth grade, changing it to two new buildings for kindergarten through fifth grade and an addition at Founders Hall Middle School for sixth-graders. The K-5 group will be divided between the renovated Francis McClure in White Oak and the new Twin Rivers in McKeesport.
At the start of the 2013-14 school year, students destined for Twin Rivers will attend classes at the Centennial and George Washington schools. They are scheduled to move to the new school in January.
The new building will have two-story wings for primary and intermediate programs, with common space in between for a cafeteria, gymnasium, library and other learning areas.
One unique feature will be a glass-framed mechanical room that includes portions of the geothermal heating and cooling system.
“These things are always hidden in boiler rooms,” Superintendent Timothy Gabauer said. “Everything will be color coded and right here on display with signs to explain what's happening inside.”
Teachers will use the room as a tool to link to a math and science academy that will be a portion of the Twin Rivers curriculum. The room also will help the building achieve LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
School director Terri Kisan said the progress of the construction is a sign of great things to come for students.
“I'm so excited for these kids,” Kisan said. “They're going to have every opportunity to achieve their full potential in a comfortable learning environment.”
Gabauer, who took his fifth tour of the site on Wednesday, said every step in the process makes the construction more exciting and its completion highly anticipated.
“Over the last 45 days, the progress has been significant,” he said. “They were hoping for good weather in April, and that's exactly what they had. They're on track for December, and they're going to work on one section at a time. You'll see the building coming together piece by piece.”
Roberto J. Fratangelo of project managers PJ Dick said construction is on track.
“Everything is still weather permitting, but with the progress that has been made in the last few weeks, we should be completed by the scheduled date,” he said.
Fratangelo said the building's aesthetics and architectural design are state-of-the-art.
“Even during construction, you can see the amount of light that will come into the common spaces,” Fratangelo said. “No matter where you are in this building, there is natural light coming in.”
District officials said they can't wait to see how the project evolves in coming weeks and months. They want the public to drive past and observe the progress as the building continues to take shape.
“It's going to be the showplace of Allegheny County,” Maksin said. “It's going to set the standard for elementary buildings.”
Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1956, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- McKeesport convenience store sells winning ticket
- U.S. Steel looks to expand Research & Technology Center in Munhall
- Residents express thanks to Allegheny County Housing Authority
- Glassport police name new chief
- East Allegheny first responders interact at active-shooter workshop
- Elizabeth Township police chief put on leave, manager terminated
- Antiques appraiser shares expertise with Mon Valley crowd
- Mon Valley called ‘ground zero’ for blight
- Glassport Scout completes Eagle Project
- East Allegheny teachers respond in contract dispute
- Strike remains possible for East Allegheny teachers