Sinkhole opens near Penn Hills High School

Patrick Varine
| Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

More problems are taking place under the new Penn Hills High School property on Collins Drive.

District officials on Friday morning discovered a sizable sinkhole on the south side of the building, about 10 feet from a retaining wall.

The sinkhole was about 3 feet wide and 30 feet deep.

The area was cordoned off immediately for the safety of students, staff and the public.

District officials said construction manager Dennis Russo plans to backfill the area in order to resolve the issue. Russo said the sinkhole is the result of old mining activity in the area.

“The engineers and I believe that the rain we received on Thursday finally put enough pressure on the old mine shaft to cause it to collapse,” said Russo, adding that a grout-pumping truck was on site early Friday afternoon, and the problem would be fixed later the same day.

In the spring of 2011, the district was forced to shell out an additional $1.5 million after a pyrite formation was discovered on the property. That money was paid out of a construction contingency fund.

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

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