Baldwin-Whitehall leaders consider partnering with Brentwood for improvement bids |
South Hills

Baldwin-Whitehall leaders consider partnering with Brentwood for improvement bids

Baldwin-Whitehall's Whitehall Elementary photographed Wednesday, July 19, 2017.

Baldwin-Whitehall School District leaders said they are considering partnering with Brentwood Borough School District when soliciting bids for capital improvements such as the replacement of a school roof.

Leaders from both districts are mulling over building improvement projects. In addition, both districts have the same architect, HHSDR Architects/Engineers, based in Pittsburgh.

At a Jan. 10 board meeting, Baldwin-Whitehall Superintendent Randal Lutz said he has “discussed capital improvement needs” with Brentwood Superintendent Amy Burch. “The reason is economies of scale. We might get competitive bidding that way.”

Burch said Brentwood is keeping all of its options open.

“BW is examining similar capital improvement projects as we are,” she said.

A study done by HHSDR last spring shows three of the five Baldwin-Whitehall schools are in less than good condition. Paynter Elementary received a poor mark in the study.

J.E. Harrison Middle School and McAnnulty Elementary were categorized as fair, while Whitehall Elementary and Baldwin High School were said to be in good condition.

Lutz has said the capital improvements at the school could run as much as $40 million. Not only are improvements — such as the replacement of the roof at the middle school and much of its electrical system – needed, but the buildings need to be reconfigured to accommodate growth in district enrollment.

One potential option Lutz said during the Jan. 10 meeting was to shift another grade to Baldwin High School. There are currently 1,400 students in the building, which can accommodate 2,300.

“Conceivably, we could roll another grade in,” Lutz said.

The question, however, would be how to fund the building improvements, he said.

The board agreed to discuss a preliminary budget at its Jan. 17 meeting. At that meeting, the board may determine whether it will seek an exception to the Act 1 policy that regulates school district property taxes in the state. A pre-budget would be adopted the second week in February.

“It is a pre-budget, which means all of the options are on the table,” Lutz said. “We are just over halfway mark of the current budget.”

Suzanne Elliott is a Tribune-Review staff writer. She can be reached at [email protected] or 412-871-2346.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.