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Construction to resume soon on Connellsville's 'green' building

| Friday, July 5, 2013, 6:09 p.m.
Karl Polacek | Daily Courier
Construction is expected to resume on the green building near Col. William Crawford’s cabin in Yough Park in Connellsvbille. Karl Polacek |Daily Courier

Construction is expected to resume soon on Sustainable Connellsville's “green” building, located near Col. William Crawford's cabin in the city's West Side, the acting president said.

“Materials are now all on site,” Geno Gallo said. “Some of the foundation has been built and we're about ready to go, again.”

“The foundation pillars are in,” Connellsville City Councilman Brad Geyer said. “The frost walls are installed and the building materials are on site for completing the floor plumbing (for heat in the floor.)”

Delays arose because of the loss of a supplier, Gallo said.

“When we purchased our walls (panels,) we were dealing with Suretight in Youngwood,” Gallo said. “They went out of business. We've found a new supplier.”

Gallo said it is tough to try to do something using new technology.

“If Lowe's or Home Depot doesn't have it, it slows everything down,” Gallo said. “We've had a lot of support. It's just tricky, applying for something not done before.”

Now, Sustainable Connellsville is waiting for the next check from the Private Industry Council. That check is expected in about a week, Gallo said.

Gallo said the building permit will not expire for another year. He said the group would like to see construction on the project completed in time for the Connellsville's Sustainable Fair, scheduled for Sept. 15 and 16.

Current costs are about $65,000, Gallo said, with grants comprising about half of the funding.

Private sources also are contributing to the building's costs, Geyer said.

Because the structure is a prototype, some building components were designed and made from scratch.

Primarily, the structure is a green building prototype that will serve as an educational and experimental tool for designing buildings, Gallo said, adding it will be utilized as a meeting place for Sustainable Connellsville and opened to the public during certain outreach events.

It could be offered for overnight rental for trail users and transient tourists, Gallo said. It could accommodate as many as six overnight guests.

Some tours of the building will be geared toward children, he said. A curriculum is being designed around the green building for different ages.

The building has been designed specifically to appeal to eco-conscience travelers, Gallo said.

Karl Polacek is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at kpolacek@tribweb.com or 724-626-3538.

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