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Pivik Elementary School fields not yet ready for use in Plum

| Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The practice field at the new Pivik Elementary School needs more work.

Dennis Russo, the district's construction representative, said during a facilities-committee meeting last week that the field, located behind the school, is not ready to use because the recent rains washed off a layer of topsoil and exposed some rocks that need to be removed with a landscape rake.

Plum School Board members at a special meeting in April voted to spend $55,000 to develop a practice field at the new Pivik Elementary School. Palumbo Landscaping of Penn Hills did the work on the field that is to be used for soccer and other practices. The project included grading and erecting fencing.

The board wanted the field ready for the start of practices earlier this month.

“We spent $55,000 on this field, and it isn't ready,” board member Richard Zucco said. “Someone didn't do their job.”

Athletic Director Bob Alpino earlier this month brought a bag containing some rocks and other debris he said have surfaced on the field and need to be removed to an athletic-committee meeting.

“It's not safe yet,” Alpino told board members. “It will be a nice site, but (the grass) needs to grow some more.”

Russo said work on the field was expected to occur this week. He added that raking the rocks off the field will permit the grass seed to grow.

The field area had been considered for development of a girls softball field. The team had played on a field at the former Pivik school. Board members opted instead to develop a softball field adjacent to the baseball field at the high school at a cost of about $300,000.

District facilities supervisor Bob Holleran said fields have been prepared at Larry Mills Park off Oblock Road to accommodate soccer practices.

Russo said board members, with his input on the progress of work, will decide when the field will be used.

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

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