Penn Hills school construction audit complete
By Patrick Varine
Published: Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
The $19 million that Penn Hills school board officials voted to borrow last summer has not been touched, according to a review of all construction expenses dating back to 2009.
Construction manager Dennis Russo of Russo Construction Services in Plum, along with business manager Richard Liberto, performed the audit over a roughly two-week period at the request of the school district finance committee.
During a discussion of why new tennis courts seemingly disappeared from the original design for the school's campus, Russo said he wasn't comfortable moving ahead with plans to resurface the Yuhas-McGinley Stadium track and look into building tennis courts until he'd been able to go back through all of the documents handed over by previous managers Turner Construction.
The school board voted to terminate its relationship with Turner in September 2012.
Russo said he and Liberto went back to 2009 and spent about 50 hours rebuilding the entire budget.
“There was some information that was not passed on to me when Turner left,” Russo said. “There was a gap in the history that the administration had in their computer records. And the (financial) uncertainty was based on all the soft costs that I hadn't been a part of — there were services like purchase orders and engineering that I didn't have on hand.”
Russo said that as of the district's last billing cycle, between $32 and $34 million remains in the construction fund, and he is comfortable going ahead with plans for the field resurfacing — which will likely take place following the Pittsburgh East Relay for Life in July, Liberto said — and exploring tennis courts further.
“What we've determined is that (post-construction), we have a $1.1 million surplus at this point, and it will take about $300,000 to $500,000 to put (courts and a new track) in,” Russo said.
“I wanted to get the accounting up-to-date and that's basically what we did. So everything seems to be on the up-and-up and we're moving forward.”
Russo said construction on the district's consolidated elementary center is also moving forward on schedule.
Patrick Varine is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 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.
- Penn Hills transportation undergoes second round of outsourcing
- Parkway East sign improvements near Penn Hills begin Monday night