Apartment development outlined for former Schenley High School in Pittsburgh |

Apartment development outlined for former Schenley High School in Pittsburgh

Andrew Russell | Trib Total Media
The former Schenley High School in Oakland.

The former Schenley High School building could become the latest apartment complex in Pittsburgh, with construction starting as early as February.

PMC Properties of Philadelphia will brief the city Planning Commission on Tuesday on details of its plan to convert the historic structure at North Bellefield Avenue and Bigelow Boulevard in Oakland into 163 luxury apartments and place an additional 10 residential units on the roof.

The plan includes a one-story addition and 146 parking spaces, six of them for handicapped individuals.

PMC Properties has converted several Downtown office buildings into apartments. It paid $5.2 million for the building, which some alumni wanted to preserve as a school.

Edward Alexei, an alumnus, was part of a group that wanted to buy and renovate the building, then reopen it as a private or charter high school with an emphasis on visual, audio and digital arts education.

He said his group is not seeking government financing. The group was unsuccessful in acquiring the building, which had asbestos contamination and repair needs. In its application for city approval, PMC did not provide an estimate on the cost to convert the building into apartments.

Schenley High School, named for Pittsburgh philanthropist Mary Schenley, opened in 1916 with 1,800 students and 70 teachers. It closed in 2009, but the final class graduated in 2011, having been housed in the former Reizenstein Middle School.

Sam Spatter is a Trib Total Media staff writer.

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