North Allegheny OKs $20.5 million in contracts for renovations
The North Allegheny School Board has approved $20.5 million in renovations for Marshall Middle School and Bradford Woods and Marshall elementary schools.
The work will include a new student dropoff driveway at Marshall Elementary, and installing security cameras, repairing masonry and replacing steps, sidewalks, flooring, doors and more, in addition to other work, at all three schools.
A bond will pay for the work, which is to be completed during the summers of 2015 and 2016, district officials said. The total cost will be $26.3 million, which is $3.1 million less than what was budgeted, said Rob Gaertner, North Allegheny’s director of facilities, during a presentation at Wednesday’s school board meeting.
The board approved awarding $2.1 million in building renovation contracts for other schools.
The work includes $579,000 to replace lockers at the high school and to renovate the locker room at Newman Stadium, as well as $372,012 for paving at Hosack Elementary School.
Much of the work will be paid for with money from the capital funding plan.
School board member Maureen Grosheider expressed concern about how renovation costs would affect the district’s budget in 2015-16, when an $8.2 million deficit is projected.
Board President Tara Fisher said Thursday the district’s financial challenges are no different from those of any other public school district.
“The board has to set priorities with respect to approving expenditures. Raising taxes is not always the only or right answer,” she said.
To close the deficit, the district can consider options including deferring leasing buses for a year and amending a recommendation to provide devices, such as laptop computers, to every student, Fisher said.
Tory N. Parrish is a Trib Total Media staff writer. She can be reached at 412-380-5662 or firstname.lastname@example.org.