Allegheny Valley School Board president urges decision on Colfax Elementary’s fate
Allegheny Valley School Board President Larry Pollick wants a decision on Colfax Elementary School’s fate at Monday’s board meeting.
But he knows he may not get one.
“I would hope we would have a clear understanding are where we are with a sale or information on partial or full demolition,” Pollick said.
His expectations apparently were tempered at Tuesday’s board agenda meeting after a discussion about the now-closed Colfax building in Springdale and the possibility of selling or demolishing it.
The cost of demolishing all or part of the old school is the latest obstacle to the board making a decision at Monday’s voting meeting.
Last month, the board decided to have Superintendent Pat Graczyk get an estimate of what partial or full demolition of Colfax would cost.
Graczyk contacted Canzian, Johnston and Associates, an architectural firm, about providing an estimate. Canzian would be paid a fee for that and sign an agreement with the district to do that.
Subsequent questions from the architects regarding the language in that agreement stalled the process somewhat, Graczyk said. It was eventually signed but the Monday timetable for the district receiving the information was delayed, he said.
“I don’t anticipate we’ll have the information on demolition,” Graczyk said of the Monday meeting.
He advised the board the demolition process is complicated because the building likely contains asbestos.
At one point during the board’s discussion an apparently frustrated Pollick vowed the board would vote on the building Monday. But his frustration eased as the discussion progressed.
“We won’t be in position to make any informed vote on the motion as it is listed,” board member Steve Puskar said.
Fellow School Director Antonio Pollino said, “It’s hard to decide whether you demolish part of it or all of it — you need the numbers.”
Graczyk told the board it could authorize the administration to pursue a sale of the building.
However, pursuing and negotiating a sale would be a waste of time if the board finds demolition to be the more viable option.
In addition, while the district pursues the sale it would have to pay for building maintenance, which would cost an estimated $120,000 per year.