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NA gets $250K grant to help pay for turf at intermediate high school |
North Hills

NA gets $250K grant to help pay for turf at intermediate high school

The North Allegheny School District has received a $250,00 grant from state casino revenues to help improve the fields in the athletic complex at the intermediate high school.

The grant from the state’s Gaming Economic Development Fund was obtained with the assistance of state Rep. Mike Turzai, R-Bradford Woods, who announced the allocation.

Money from the gaming fund is generated from levies on the 12 casino’s operating in the Pennsylvania. It does not receive money from the state’s general fund.

District officials want to cover the soccer, baseball, softball and football fields with artificial turf to provide a more consistent playing surface and make the fields less susceptible to weather conditions.

The district also is planning to install lighting at the athletic complex, install security fencing and build dugouts at the baseball and softball fields.

“State-of-the-art, all-weather fields enhance the quality of life for folks of all ages in the community,” said Turzai, who serves as the speaker of the house. “Such new fields would provide more opportunities for physical activity, which are incredibly important for our youth.”

School officials originally planned for the work to be done this summer, but decided n July to delay the project until the summer of 2019.

An estimate for the work from a vendor that was pre-approved through a joint purchasing agreement came in at about $3.9 million and indicated that the project would be completed before the start of the this school year in late August.

But a written contract for the project that was submitted in late June did not include the full scope of work and altered the time line for completion to some time in November or December, which meant the fields could not be used for the fall sports season. School officials also were concerned about disruptions caused by having construction work done while classes are in session.

Additional costs for items such as unexpected soil conditions, storm water control and accessibility issues boosted the estimated price tag to about$5.4 million, an increase of 39 percent.

Plans now call for putting the project out for competitive bid during the current school year so work can be completed next summer.

Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tony at 724-772-6368 or [email protected] or via Twitter @TonyLaRussaTrib.

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