Franklin Regional to modify design, re-bid Sloan ‘elementary campus’ project | TribLIVE.com
Murrysville

Franklin Regional to modify design, re-bid Sloan ‘elementary campus’ project

Patrick Varine
935514_web1_ms-MurrSloan3-101118
Above, an architectural rendering of the renovated Sloan Elementary School.
935514_web1_ms-MurrSloan2-101118
Above, an architectural rendering of the upper elementary building proposed for the Sloan campus.
935514_web1_WEB-franklinregional-sloanelementary
Above, Sloan Elementary School, off Sardis Road in Murrysville. Franklin Regional officials want to renovate the existing building, construct a new elementary for grades 3 to 5 on the site, and consolidate all its elementary students on one campus.

Franklin Regional School Board will request its architect redesign some elements of the Sloan “elementary campus” project after rejecting all bids submitted this month.

“The bids we received exceeded estimates from our architects, VEBH, during the feasibility study and from Massaro Construction during the design phase of the project,” Superintendent Gennaro Piraino said. “First and foremost, the cost of renovations to the (existing Sloan Elementary School, intended for future use as a) K-2 building, far exceeded what we were expecting.”

Piraino added that a lengthy development and permitting process, along with the traditional annual inflation of construction costs, all contributed to bid estimates that made school board members uncomfortable.

District officials declined to provide bid details. The Tribune-Review has submitted a Right-to-Know request seeking the information.

According to resident Gary English, who is cross-filed as a school board candidate in the May primary, board members should be considering legal ramifications, given the project has been challenged in court.

“Voting for and approving bids while there is ongoing litigation? You’re putting the taxpayers at risk,” English said. “If there is a successful challenge to the Sloan project, and it does not get constructed, taxpayers would still be at risk if in fact the bids are approved.”

Piraino briefly referenced the court challenge, in which a group of residents, the “Sloan Project Concerned Citizens,” challenged Murrysville council’s approval of the project in Common Pleas court on the grounds that project conditions did not go far enough in protecting the health, safety and welfare of the community.

The school district has intervened in the legal challenge, taking the position that conditions set by the municipality go too far.

“Expensive, and in some cases unwarranted, conditions imposed on this project by outside entities added unwarranted costs,” Piraino said.

A statement from the school board and administration directed project architects to modify the existing design “in a way that reduces cost without sacrificing the educational vision, the needs of our students and staff and the viability of these educational facilities.”

Board member Dennis Pavlik said while the overall project costs came in under limits set by the state, the numbers were not where the board would prefer.

“The costs for the new building were pretty much right on,” Pavlik said “The biggest cost that we got was the Sloan renovations. We’ve had delays that have added to the cost, and that’s unfortunate … But we’re going to make sure we get your money’s worth.”

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Murrysville
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.