school construction update


View from the north parking area. Tennis courts will be installed to the right, adjacent to the school building.

Anyone who has ever had a construction project in their home knows the feeling. You have an idea. You secure the money. You work toward the completion date.

And as the completion date comes and goes you realize how very few things go according to plan.

The bigger and more complex the project, the more twists can happen. Such was the nature of the $109.6 million high school renovation, begun in 2012. The project, which included a new science building, a new athletic complex, new library, new cafeteria, new fine arts spaces and complete renovation of all classrooms and theaters, was done in phases with an expected completion in 2015. And indeed, the internal project was finished and students were in the new spaces that spring. But with drawings that weren’t always accurate dating back to the 1930s, and the necessary ballet of hundreds of contractors, several exterior parts of the project didn’t get done on time.

“Along the way, things happen,” says Cissy Bowman, the district’s communications director.

At the close of 2016, a few things stood left to be completed: construction of tennis courts on the former location of Building C, grading and infrastructure around Horsman Drive, reconstruction of the North Parking Lot and replacing of the steps, dismantling of the work area on the South Parking Lot and return of that space to parking, regrading of the “Rockpile” and returning it to its previous incarnation of a practice field. Sidewalks, curbs and infrastructure, such as storm water management, irrigation lines and lighting also needed to be done this winter..

One of the largest hurdles was the demolition of Building C, built in 1972, the former home of the library, district offices, cafeterias, Center Court and with that, a lot of asbestos. Once that building came down in the spring of 2016, the foundation needed to be excavated and soil brought in to fill. That fill needed to settle for 90 days before the tennis courts could be built on them. By the time that was done, the asphalt plants had closed for the winter.

But Bowman expects all those projects to be completed before you get your next Mt. Lebanon Magazine. “Somewhere in March,” Bowman says. “Fingers crossed.”

For a complete history of the project:

Photo / Judy Macoskey