• March 5, 2018

    Board awards construction contracts
    projects to start within weeks 

    Capital Projects Rendering The Upper St. Clair School Board awarded construction contracts totaling $22.65 million for the completion of its planned capital projects on Monday, March 5, 2018. Construction is expected to begin within weeks and conclude in August 2019.

    The following contracts were awarded to the lowest responsible bidders. 

    • General Construction – Mucci Construction: $16,150,642
    • HVAC – East West Manufacturing & Supply: $2,464,550
    • Plumbing – Tedesco Plumbing: $1,574,500
    • Electrical – A-1 Electric: $2,468,685

    Projects include a new aquatics center at the high school with an 8-lane pool and separate special use pool; a new multi-use complex at the stadium that includes district offices; and a single structure at Boyce Middle School to accommodate restrooms/changing area, concession area and announcing booth.

    The special use pool will better accommodate the district’s swim and dive teams as well as provide opportunities for expanded community use and programming. Kept at a warmer temperature, the special use pool is ideal for swim lessons for young children and programming for special needs students. Due to a lack of appropriate facilities, many area divers currently travel to the University of Pittsburgh for training.

    According to Dr. Patrick O’Toole, superintendent of schools, the projects will positively affect Upper St. Clair students and the greater community.

    “We will be replacing an aging swimming pool with a new, larger facility that will have greater access and healthier air quality for our students,” he said. “Sports, like swimming, are growing in popularity across the country and we have experienced similar growth at USC.”

    Much of the work within the stadium and multi-use complex is needed to meet current safety and accessibility regulations. The planned work provides flexibility for spaces that otherwise have limited functionality.

    “Our stadium seating, restrooms, press box and concessions area will be refurbished. The present condition is not sustainable and this work is essential,” Dr. O’Toole said. “If done alone, we would have incurred high costs for just replacing the press box, which would have limited usage options.”

    Incorporated into the multi-use complex is the district’s central offices, which currently occupy leased space within the municipal building. Due largely to the growing need for technology and special education support staff, the number of staff members located within central office over the last 30 years has grown considerably – with no increase in square footage.

    “Our central offices are not adequately sized and not designed to maximize work productivity,” Dr. O’Toole added. “To renovate them at the present site, which we do not own, would still leave us as renters and still with inadequate space.”

    A turf field was added at Boyce Middle School when the middle schools were renovated in 2006. At that time, the infrastructure was put in place to have utilities at the proposed site location for a future building.

    “Our Boyce Field has been a big success in terms of student/athletic usage. But, it is lacking proper restroom and game management facilities,” Dr. O’Toole said. “The gravel parking lot also needs to be paved; otherwise, we will continually be paying for repairs.”

    Since 2000, all six schools within the Upper St. Clair School District have undergone extensive renovations.

    “We have outstanding facilities in our district because we have prioritized our academic learning spaces in the renovation timeline. This project is consistent with our past standards of excellence,” he said. “The additional debt will place some stress on the short-term budgets, but will provide significant benefits for students, families and the community for years to come.”

    In addition, several other components are included within the construction awards, many of which were added during the design and planning process. Additions include the removal of a pedestrian bridge at the high school; new electrical service from Truxton Drive; stadium light pole relocations and upgrade; visitor’s-side bleacher refinishing; new stadium scoreboard and sound-system; rock excavations per soils report; fencing along Washington Road; expansion of restroom counts to comply with Allegheny County requirements; and parking lot paving at Boyce field.

    The project’s overall annual budget impact is equal to 0.4576 mills. The estimated tax impact on a home with the median assessed value of $223,550 is $102 annually or $8.52 per month. (To calculate the impact on a specific property value, multiply the property’s county assessed value by 0.0004576.)

    District officials remain optimistic that some of the annual budget impact will be mitigated by an anticipated increase in property tax revenue from new construction.

    “In the context of the general fund budget, additional debt investments would be difficult for the district to absorb without knowing that our real estate tax base is increasing,” Dr. O’Toole said.

    In March 2017, the Upper St. Clair School Board approved its ad hoc committee’s final report and authorized McLean Architects to move forward with the design development, construction documents and construction phase administration for the capital projects. PJ Dick serves as construction manager for the projects. The company also served as project manager during the renovations of Boyce and Fort Couch middle schools as well as the high school.