Schenley High slated for new study to try to keep building
Despite being closed for five years and put up for sale, Schenley High School will undergo more studies to determine whether Pittsburgh Public Schools can afford to keep the historic building.
The school board voted 6-3 on Wednesday evening to obtain two new estimates for renovating the building.
“I'm dumbfounded why the school was ever closed,” said board member Regina Holley, who proposed the resolution. The resolution cited a petition signed by 1,000 advocates calling for a new look at the renovation costs.
The school board voted to close the Oakland school in 2008 when then-Superintendent Mark Roosevelt cited the danger posed by asbestos and the high cost of repairing its mechanical systems.
Advocates of the district keeping the building say estimates, which were as high as $75 million, were exaggerated.
The district last week received four bids to buy the building. A vote is slated for Feb. 27 on whether to accept one of the bids.
In other business:
• A painting by a French artist that is owned by the school district will be auctioned on May 8 at Sotheby's of New York, where it could fetch at least $500,000.
The board voted to sell the painting “Interior” by artist Henri le Sidaner, which was donated to the district in the 1930s by a nonprofit group called The Friends of Art to inspire students. The proceeds will help the district restore and secure its collection of more than 340 works of art.
• The board voted to lower the property tax rate from 13.92 mills to 9.65 mills, or 30 percent. Each mill raises $1 for every $1,000 in assessed valuation. The impact of the lower rate on homeowners will depend on how much the countywide reassessment of property in the city affects them.
Generally, property values in the city rose 48 percent. If the value of a home exceeded that increase, the owner will pay more in taxes. If a property's value increased less than that amount, taxes will decrease.
Under state Act 1, the district cannot get a windfall as a result of property reassessment, however, it can raise its property tax revenues by 1.7 percent, or $3.2 million, to cover property tax appeals that homeowners might win.
• The board failed to approve an application to allow the Propel Hazelwood charter school to open in the former St. Stephen School, which would eventually serve 420 students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
Propel executive director Jeremy Resnick said he will appeal the decision to the state charter review board.
Bill Zlatos is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
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.
- Grand jury report says Western Psych failed to cooperate with police
- 1 intruder killed, other shot and wounded in Carrick home invasion
- Foreign influx in Allegheny County at ‘tipping point’
- UPMC, Pittsburgh drop tax-status fight
- Pittsburgh crime down overall in 2013 but rapes, homicides increased
- Turtle Creek’s man death ruled a homicide
- TSA finds .380-caliber handgun in carry-on bag at Pittsburgh International Airport
- Squirrel Hill Tunnel workers cope with speeders, exhaust fumes
- Emails show Allegheny County Council staff investigated potential snooping
- Pennsylvania Resources Council puts hazardous materials in their place
- Sewickley man dies in Route 28 motorcycle accident