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Holy Family Institute looking for a home in Penn Hills

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The Penn Hills Planning Commission will consider an application for a new school.

Holy Family Institute, which provides support to children and families in western Pennsylvania, from alternative learning environments and career training, is requesting conditional-use approval to convert an office building, on Mulberry Street in the Laketon Heights neighborhood, into an educational facility.

The planning commission meets at 7 p.m. Thursday at the municipal building.

“We provide education to students who are educationally challenged, who need a smaller, more structured school setting,” said Sr. Linda Yankoski, CEO and president of Holy Family Institute.

Holy Family operates a similar facility on Hunter Street in Turtle Creek, but Yankoski said the building is more than is needed.

Holy Family works with public school districts through the schools' individual education plan, or IEP, process to identify students who would benefit from the personalized instruction it offers.

The Turtle Creek location serves between 50 and 60 students per year.

In addition to the Turtle Creek Day School, Holy Family also operates a Chatham Day School in the former Chatham Elementary School on Bonvue Street in Pittsburgh's North Side neighborhood.

Other items on the planning agenda include:

• Monroeville-based PJN Properties LP is requesting site plan approval to construct an 8,500-square-foot addition to the former Bally's Health Club and L.A. Fitness building at 310 Rodi Road.

Bill Richards, a partner at PJN, said the company's intention is to turn the former health club into medical offices.

“We're in negotiations with someone right now to rent the space, but it will be primarily, if not exclusively, medical offices,” Richards said.

• A hearing for a zoning amendment to change the designated zoning for property adjacent to the Vocollect business from R1-A residential to M (mixed use) and C (conservation district). The Vocollect expansion request has been in the municipality's planning pipeline in one form or another for more than a decade. The municipality is currently the subject of a county-court lawsuit filed by the Chatelain Corp. and a group of residents who live near the proposed expansion. Property owner Joseph D'Andrea, through his attorney, has joined the municipality in opposing the suit.

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

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