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Architects asked to scale back Penn Hills School District stadium press-box plans

| Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Penn Hills School District officials are expected to scale back plans for a football field press box to save money.

District business manager Richard Liberto asked for a less expensive option during a school board finance committee meeting last month.

Committee members in January had expressed reservations after seeing site plans from design firm Architectural Innovations, of Ross Township, showing an estimated $2 million, three-level press box with a booster club/concession sales area on the bottom floor, a press level on the third floor and what was labeled a “board member viewing area” on the second floor.

To have the press box completed in time for the 2013 football season, district officials have about five months to decide on a design, bid it out and have it built. WPIAL schedules have the first games of the 2013 high-school football season starting Aug. 30 and 31.

Liberto asked Architectural Innovations officials to come up with a new design costing $1 million to $1.3 million, and for something that scales back the original 5,181-square-foot size by about 15 percent.

He added that he will ask construction manager Dennis Russo to look into the possibility of smaller, modular press boxes as an alternative.

The current press box, built in the 1960s, must be updated to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, now that the rest of the stadium has been upgraded with new turf, new bleachers and a new scoreboard.

The committee took no official action on the press box, but it will be placed on the school board's future discussion agenda. The next board meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday at Linton Middle School.

Patrick Varine is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 or pvarine@tribweb.com.

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