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South Allegheny breaks ground for wellness center

Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News - A Plavchak Construction crew prepares to lay a foundation for South Allegheny's new Learning and Wellness Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News</em></div>A Plavchak Construction crew prepares to lay a foundation for South Allegheny's new Learning and Wellness Center.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News - A Plavchak Construction crew removes concrete and dirt when preparing to lay a foundation for South Allegheny's new Learning and Wellness Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News</em></div>A Plavchak Construction crew removes concrete and dirt when preparing to lay a foundation for South Allegheny's new Learning and Wellness Center.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News - South Allegheny Superintendent Wayne Gdovic checks in with Steve Yuhas of Plavchak Construction.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News</em></div>South Allegheny Superintendent Wayne Gdovic checks in with Steve Yuhas of Plavchak Construction.

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By Jennifer R. Vertullo
Friday, Aug. 2, 2013, 5:01 a.m.
 

South Allegheny School District has broken ground for a Community Learning and Wellness Center on its middle/high school campus.

Crews from the Jefferson Hills-based Plavchak Construction have been preparing a foundation for the 66-by-64-foot addition, located off the high school's auxiliary gymnasium, since July 2.

Total cost of the project will be $1,030,890, funded in part by a $150,000 infrastructure and tourism grant facilitated by the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County. A district bond issue will cover the remainder.

The new facility will house a cardiovascular training center with state-of-the-art equipment and locker rooms.

“Research has shown there is a link between student health and student achievement,” Superintendent Wayne Gdovic said. “We want to give South Allegheny students every opportunity to excel.”

South Allegheny received exercise equipment valued at $100,000 from a Governor's Fitness Council grant at the start of the 2012-13 academic year.

“This is a gift that keeps on giving,” Gov. Tom Corbett said at the time.

The equipment will be moved from the middle school to the new center, making it available for public use and freeing classroom space at the school.

“Although an exact schedule has not been developed, the fitness center will be open (to the public) when school is not in session,” district public relations coordinator Laura Thomson said. “We are considering having it open before school, late afternoon, evenings and Saturdays.”

South Allegheny officials have been touring similar facilities in the Quaker Valley, South Fayette and Cornell school districts, and evaluating the programs in place there.

“They all handle it very differently,” Gdovic said. “We have to see what will work best for our district and our community.”

The center will include an area dedicated to career training and human service opportunities.

The school district will offer access to career training programs, including résumé-building, using online software provided by Career Links .

“We are focusing on a well-rounded individual through health, wellness and education,” Thomson said. “Not just for our students, but their parents and the community.”

Anything South Allegheny can do to support the community will be a return to the district, Gdovic said.

“Successful communities help to build successful schools,” he said.

Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1956, or jvertullo@tribweb.com.

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