last phase of public works project approved

Schematic of renovated Public Works facility along Cedar Boulevard near Lindendale Drive.

Last night, the Mt. Lebanon Commission approved funding for the third and final phase of the renovation project at the public works facility on Lindendale Drive.

Phase 3 of the project consists of constructing a one-story, 15,300-square-foot addition to the existing two-story public works building, and building a 5,400-square-foot firing range.

The first phase of the project, earth-moving and other site preparation, including a secondary access to the public works yard from Cedar Boulevard, is expected to be complete by the middle of July. Once the site work is done, the next phase will be the construction of a new salt dome with a storage capacity of 6,500 tons and a storage building for housing seasonal equipment such as snowplows and leaf vacuums. That work is expected to conclude by October of this year and also calls for additional storage space, which will extend the service life of equipment that will no longer be subject to weather extremes, and landscaping along Cedar Boulevard.

The remaining portion of the project—the firing range and the addition to the public works building—is expected to conclude by autumn of 2019.

Public works provides many of the day to day services all Mt. Lebanon residents rely on, including snow removal, leaf pickup, tree trimming, park and municipal grounds maintenance and some street repair.

Public Works Facility site work in progress

Plans for the firing range have evolved over the past year and a half. The existing range, used by the police department, is currently located in the public works complex. Original plans called for the range to be renovated to make it better suited to meet current police training requirements. But in the meantime, the school district renovated Mt. Lebanon High School without including a range for its rifle team. In December, commissioners approved a plan to build a new range, which could be used by the police and the rifle team, on municipal golf course property, located just off Pine Avenue. That idea ran into some snags when the Keystone Oaks School District, which has an elementary school located within 1,000 feet of the proposed range, raised objections—under the federal Gun-Free Zones Act of 1990—to the facility being used by the rifle team. In February, commissioners approved a plan to build a new range at the southern end of the Public Works site. The one-story, 5,400-square-foot building will be primarily used for police department usage for training and annual qualifications. The Mt. Lebanon High School Rifle team may also use the facility, pending an agreement between the Municipality and School District.  A trailhead connection to the Robb Hollow Park trail will also be created as part of the project.

The project will present challenges to the public works department, says Public Works Director Rudy Sukal. “We will have to be functioning all the way through construction,” he says. “Coordinating with contractors while providing all of the services we need to provide.”

Cost of the third phase of the project is $5,045,400, bringing the total estimated cost of the entire renovation project to $8.68 million, says finance director Andrew McCreery.