West Mifflin Area board OKs demolition of former middle school
By Tim Karan
Published: Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, 1:41 a.m.
West Mifflin Area school board on Wednesday unanimously approved demolishing the former middle school along Camp Hollow Road to make the property more attractive to prospective buyers.
The Lebanon and South buildings, and the football field grandstand and press box will be removed.
Directors accepted McLean Architects proposal's for professional services at a cost of 7 percent of the project as presented.
The district closed the school in January 2012 when students were moved to the new $34.7 million middle school built at the high school campus.
Superintendent Daniel Castagna said the district originally hoped to sell the property with the structures intact, even though an appraisal said the property would be worth more empty.
“When the initial appraisal came in four years ago, it said the value of the property was $5 million without the buildings and $3.5 million with the buildings,” Castagna said. “We made the decision at that time to put the building up for sale and try to see what we could get for the building because we didn't want to spend money on tear-down costs.”
The district was able to generate some revenue from the empty school. It earned $7,000 a day from a movie production company for allowing “Foxcatcher,” with actor Channing Tatum, to be filmed there for 10 days in 2012. The same deal applied when the Matt Damon's film “Promised Land” was shot there in June 2012.
But Castagna said the district finally couldn't justify keeping the building up.
“We've been unsuccessful (trying to sell it) for two years now and it's time to make a decision,” he said. “Hopefully, if we tear it down, (the property) will be more valuable to someone then.”
He said the district has had success with that strategy in the past.
“Last year, Emerson Elementary had a building next to it that we tried to sell for a while,” he said. “As soon as we tore it down, Dollar General bought the land. So we're hoping to have a similar experience.”
Business manager Dennis Cmar said there isn't enough money in the district's construction fund for the demolition, and the school district likely will need to take out a loan to complete the project that soon will be open for bids.
“Presumably, if we're able to sell the property, we take the proceeds of that and pay off the loan,” Cmar said.
Tim Karan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1970, or email@example.com.
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 middle school student struck by dump truck dies in hospital
- McKeesport-area officials on lookout for landslides
- AIU forum bashes governor’s education budget
- License transfer paves way for new restaurant in McKeesport
- Father-son funeral directors in Duquesne lead industry, community
- Clairton Meals on Wheels puts new van in immediate service
- New McKeesport committee to focus on community issues
- Wilmerding Y surviving Ice Plant shutdown
- McKeesport mayor answers critics of emergency timing
- Army band Volunteers to rock Palisades stage
- UPMC McKeesport employees targeted in scams