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Frazier board hires project manager

| Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, 12:42 a.m.

Two down, one to go for the Frazier School District's proposed new building project.

The school board Thursday unanimously hired Massaro Corp. of Pittsburgh as project manager for the building that will house students in pre-kindergarten through grade eight.

Massaro will work in cooperation with the Eckles Group of New Castle, the project architect, and a general contractor the board has yet to hire, business manager Kevin Mildren said.

Massaro will receive $362,378 as the technical overseer of the project, which is scheduled to begin next spring.

Mildren said the district received six bids for project management services and interviewed three companies. Massaro's price was in the middle of the group, he said.

“We felt their proposal was the most complete,” Mildren said.

Eckles was hired in June.

In a related matter, the board voted, 6-1, to hire Professional Service Industries Inc. of Pittsburgh to conduct a geophysical survey of the Perry Elementary site, where the new building could be located.

As recommended by Mark Scheller, Eckles project architect, PSI will test for underground voids caused by previous mining.

Professional Service Industries will receive $4,850. Board member John Strickler cast the lone “no” vote.

During the Thursday work session before the business meeting, Scheller detailed bids from three engineering firms.

Scheller recommended the board hire Gateway Engineers Inc. of Pittsburgh, which submitted a low bid of $24,200. Scheller said his company had worked with Gateway on previous projects.

However, Superintendent Dr. David Blozowich didn't seem convinced, based on a discussion with Solicitor Jack Purcell, who didn't attend the Thursday sessions.

“I spoke with Mr. Purcell this afternoon, and he was not comfortable enough with putting civil engineering on the agenda yet,” Blozowich said.

There is a timing factor to these decisions, as the proposed 116,000 square-foot building is scheduled to be ready for the 2014-2015 school year, Blozowich said. But the board will not be forced into action for timing's sake, he said.

In other business, the board unanimously agreed to seek bids for installing primary and secondary boiler pumps for the school buildings.

The current pump works at 70 percent capacity and at one speed, which is not cost efficient, Mildren said.

Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at rbruni@tribweb.com or 724-684-2635.

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