QV Middle School Moves Along, Causes Residential Concerns
Sewickley neighbors aren't upset about the new school itself, but rather the side effects that come with the big project.
Paving is underway at Quaker Valley Middle School and, weather permitting, is expected to last two weeks, according to a school construction official.
Joseph Marrone, director of administrative services, said the paving–-part of the district’s ongoing $26.5 million school renovation--involves putting in a new parking lot behind the school's northern end. The paving that began last week with prep work also requires contractors to use on-street parking until complete.
“Hopefully we’ll be wrapping up soon and it won’t be disruptive,” Marrone said.
But a Sewickley councilman who lives across from the school says the ongoing work has been disruptive to the neighborhood.
Councilman Stan Ference recently told council that neighbors have dealt with noisy generators, on-street parking, dust and potholes. He specifically referred to a hole contractors dug up on Harbaugh Street before winter last year to re-open lines. The pothole has since been fixed with temporary patch.
“I don’t think we should be waiting 10 months,” Ference said.
Ference also expressed concern about a new generator placed this summer in front of the school. Original plans presented to the planning commission and council require generators to be placed at the back of the school, he said.
The project is nearing completion with fewer than four months left before the school opens.
“I trust that when it’s time to do the occupancy permit," Ference said at the council meeting, "the plans will be reviewed and the occupancy permit will be granted only if the building that is constructed is in compliance with the plans as approved.”
Borough officials said the school is required to ask for alternate approval if for some reason conditions of the developer's agreement can't be met.
The developer’s agreement requires all contractors to park on-site, but SewickleyManager Kevin Flannery said the borough issued a reprieve for on-street parking during paving. Contractors must park after 7 a.m. during street cleaning.
Marrone said he and other project leaders have been monitoring construction vehicles to make sure they park legally.
“We want to be good neighbors," he said. "I understand it’s tough to be next to a construction site.”
In the case of the generator, Marrone said there were unforeseen circumstances involving its placement. The district plans to address the borough in a letter next month.
“We’ve been trying to make sure we go through the proper procedures," Marrone said. “The good news is we have a couple months and we’re all done.”
Construction is slated to be complete by Nov. 30 and Marrone said work is moving on schedule with contractors reviewing plans in weekly meetings that include the borough code enforcement officer.
He said they work to accommodate residents' concerns and invites neighbors to call.