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Russo Construction Services again at helm of Plum school construction

| Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, 10:32 p.m.

With one Plum school construction project completed, Dennis Russo is ready to start another.

The Plum School Board last week voted to approve contracts with Russo Construction Services, Pennsylvania Soil and Rock of Monroeville and L.R. Kimball for the demolition of the existing Adlai Stevenson Elementary School and the construction of a new building. The board also voted to name the new building “Holiday Park Elementary School.” Students from the existing Holiday Park Elementary will attend the new school.

A new building is expected to cost $18 million.

The Plum School District is slated to pay Pennsylvania Soil and Rock $245,358 for engineering services. Kimball is scheduled to receive 3 percent of the cost of the work. And Russo Construction Services of which Russo of Plum is owner, is set to be paid $5,833.33 a month for the project's preconstruction and post completion phases and $9,800 a month during the construction phase that is expected to take 14 months. Russo expects a total payment of about $166,000.

Russo, who managed the Pivik Elementary School construction project and is the district's representative, said his company that has three employees will work as site manager for the project.

He anticipates the district seeking bids for the work in June or July and construction beginning in August or September.

“We will oversee to make sure the architect and contractor hold to task,” Russo said.

The firm also will be involved in the initial design phase including the approval of final drawings and documents. Russo Construction Services also is set to oversee abatement and demolition of the Adlai building.

Plum officials are modeling the new school after the Pivik design. Russo said he and school officials conducted a tour of the Pivik building and compiled a list of “lessons learned” or points from change orders and district requested changes that will be modified in the new building.

Some of the changes include adding more bleachers in the gymnasium, adjusting railing heights, placing trash receptacles lower and closer to walls, lowering the sinks in the kindergarten restrooms, adjusting lighting in the cafeteria serving line, adding lights to the elevator, and increasing power source locations in the computer lab.

Russo said the project has two separate phases — clearing the site and construction of the new building.

One difference in the projects, Russo said, is the Adlai Stevenson site has less soil to be move.

Another consideration will be selecting items from the school that can be auctioned or donated to other schools including Sunrise School and Forbes Road Career and Technology Center, both in Monroeville.

Russo also is working with the district to prepare for the temporary transfer of Adlai Stevenson students to the old Pivik building.

“It's going to be a large undertaking,” Superintendent Timothy Glasspool said recently. “We are doing a transition plan.”

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8753, or

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