Pascuzzi suggests converting church to Export borough building
An Export Councilman has proposed a new use for an old property.
Council Vice President Dave Pascuzzi said he wants the borough to convert the former Lutheran Church off of Roosevelt Avenue into a new borough building. The current borough building does not meet accessibility standards set by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
“It would be a building that could be used for more than meetings,” Pascuzzi said. “We'd have a building we could use all year long.”
Council has been doing business at the firefighters' social hall since summer. Pascuzzi, who uses a wheelchair after his foot was amputated in late spring, has been advocating to make the borough building accessible. Council chambers are on the second floor of the building and require visitors to climb a flight of stairs.
Officials had proposed building a ramp that would wrap around the Washington Avenue borough building, but Pascuzzi and Councilman Lou McQuaide said the ramp would have to be pretty long to reach the second floor at a grade to meet ADA regulations.
The borough owns the church. Officials have discussed converting the building into a historical museum and trying to find a for-profit tenant that would occupy the other half of the building.
Pascuzzi said the building still could host a historical library or museum. He suggested that officials seek bids to put in handrails and an accessible restroom.
He also suggested using the $35,000 that council has set aside for the historical museum to pay for the conversion.
Councilman John Nagoda didn't like the idea.
“We need to have something done to (the borough building),” Nagoda said. “We have a lovely building over there. It was one of the first buildings in the borough. Our government has always met in the center of the borough. I don't think we should move it.”
Councilwoman Melanie Litz, who is chairwoman of the historical society, said previous estimates to make the church accessible ranged from $300,000 to $600,000. That's more money than the borough can afford, she said.
“I'd love to see that building used in some capacity in the borough,” Litz said. “There's big potential with that building.”
Council President Barry Delissio suggested Pascuzzi come up with a detailed plan and look into getting an estimate for the work.
“We need to come up with the dollars and cents here,” Delissio said. “If there's other options we need to explore, they need to be cost-effective but also user-friendly.”
Pascuzzi had advocated installing a chair lift, but he said that plan would be “expensive and high-maintenance.” The ramp, he said, would cost about $40,000 plus engineering fees.
To Pascuzzi, moving the borough building to the former church simply makes the most sense.
“It's a really nice set up, with great acoustics so no one would have to use a microphone. I don't see where we're getting with this,” Pascuzzi said. “I think this is a very viable option.”
Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, 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.
- Pittsburgh VA director gets more time to appeal firing recommendation
- Steelers use 3 late first-half TDs to stun Texans
- Kiski Area sells school building
- Raptor system helps to protect Ringgold students
- Ferrante defense says arrest of prosecutor’s boyfriend could affect case
- Natrona Bottling Co. keeps soda pop operation small, putting effort into craft, taste
- Rossi: Steelers’ season all about going big
- Pittsburgh police officers start wearing video cameras
- 12-year-old’s donated heart joins families, lets her memory live
- Pennsylvania overseers reject Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto’s 2015 budget
- White Oak moves forward on community center