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Council approves site plan for new Holiday Park Elementary

| Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 9:45 a.m.

The Plum School District has the go-ahead on its site plan for a new elementary school.

Borough council on June 1 approved the plan for the New Holiday Park Elementary School that is set to be built on the current site of the Adlai Stevenson Elementary School off Holiday Park Drive. Construction is expected to begin in a couple of months and take about 14 months.

The Plum School Board voted to approve spending between $13.8 million and $20 million to build the new school.

Council's OK followed the borough planning commission's recommendation for approval last week.

Commission member Robert Kalichuk was the lone dissenter, citing his concerns about security and storm-water retention.

“How are we going to prevent like what happened at Sandy Hook?” Kalichuk said.

A shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in December left 20 children and six adults dead.

District officials, including school resource Officer Mark Kost, in the wake of the shooting in Connecticut reviewed the district's security measures.

Plum Planning Director Jason Straley said security measures are not part of the site plan submittal process.

Superintendent Timothy Glasspool said the new school has been designed with security measures including a single-point of entry, cameras and a buzz-in system for visitors. Glasspool said the security measures also are in place in the district's other buildings.

District officials have said the new school is a duplicate of the new Pivik Elementary, a two-story building across School Road from the former Pivik.

Glasspool said details about the project will be discussed during a public hearing at 6 p.m. June 20 in the high school auditorium, 900 Elicker Road.

Kalichuk also said he is concerned about storm-water management at the site.

“My main concern is that water doesn't seep into people's backyards,” Kalichuk said.

Engineer Robert Mitall said the district was required in its storm-water management plan to reduce water runoff with the new school.

Arnie Caffas, president of Pennsylvania Soil & Rock in Monroeville, the district's engineer for the project, said an underground holding tank will be installed under the parking lot, which will retain about 20 percent more water than now is retained at the site.

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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