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Five appointed to Thomas Jefferson construction committee

| Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, 7:27 p.m.

West Jefferson Hills School Board directors on Tuesday addressed an important step in the high school construction project by approving the appointments of Kelly Magill, Gregory O'Hare, Thomas Risley, Debbie Pozicki and Keith Pancoast to the project construction committee.

Twenty-two residents from the district's three communities had asked to be considered. The board hoped to attract those with experience in construction, secondary education, engineering, building management, architecture-related fields and excavation. The search began in December.

Magill, of West Elizabeth, has a degree in electrical engineering technology. O'Hare, of Pleasant Hills, is a project manager and structural engineer. Risley, of Jefferson Hills, has expertise in energy resource management. Pozicki served on the school board for eight years. Pancoast is a retired district social studies teacher.

Board President Anthony Angotti said he was pleased with the response from the communities.

While Dr. David Graham, board member, suggested a 10-member committee during the school board's work session, ultimately, a 12-person committee will be in place.

These residents will work with the superintendent, architect, construction manager, board members, teachers and the district solicitor, said Shauna D'Alessandro, board vice president. The board also will interview students during the design phase of the project.

The committee will not have the power of the school board, she said, but will make recommendations to it.

Resolutions OK'd

The board unanimously approved two resolutions. The first was a request for qualifications (RFQ) for architects prepared by Turner Construction Co. of Pittsburgh to design the new Thomas Jefferson High School, now called “The Project.”

The request for qualifications will be sent out to various architectural firms.

A request for proposal (RFP) for surveying services on the 151-acre site, also was approved for Turner. The proposal will contain costs for furnishing all labor, materials, engineering, equipment, tools, supervision and overhead for the proposed new high school.

Turner was selected by the school board in November to manage the estimated $70 million high school project. Several firms replied, and three firms were chosen to meet with residents during public hearings.

A construction manager from Turner will sit on the building committee and guide district officials through the process.

Superintendent Michael Panza hopes to have an architect in place by May.

Dona S. Dreeland is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5803 or

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