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NEW CASTLE School officials open bids for moving historical houses



Published: Tue, August 14, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The houses must be moved or demolished by November to keep plans for a new high school on schedule.

By LAURE CIOFFI

VINDICATOR NEW CASTLE BUREAU

NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Five historical homes slated for demolition by the New Castle Area School District have a second chance.

School officials received bids Monday to move five of the 14 homes that had been slated for demolition to make room for a new city high school. All bidders must move the buildings to new locations before November, according to school officials.

The Greater New Castle Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit city agency dedicated to economic development, submitted four bids of $1 each for 214 and 220 Lincoln Ave. and 318 and 322 East St.

James Meehan, a New Castle funeral home director, bid $12 for 322 Reis St.

School officials also received bids from John Norris of West Clayton Street of $25 each for the stockade fencing at 220 Lincoln Ave. and the garage at 321 Reis St.

School business manager Marie Pisano will review the bid documents, and school board members are expected to act on them Wednesday.

Plans for houses: Officials from the Greater New Castle Community Development Corporation have said they want to move four homes to Grant Street to create a cul-de-sac business district. They plan to use a mix of grants and loans for the estimated $590,000 moving costs.

Meehan said he wants to move the two-story stone house on Reis Street to a vacant lot next to his funeral home on Lincoln Avenue. His plans call for renting out the small home and eventually selling it.

Norris did not attend Monday's bid opening.

The homes went out for bid last spring when two businessmen approached the school board about moving rather than razing them.

Earlier bids on the homes were rejected by school board members when they determined the bidders did not have enough money to move the houses to new locations.

School officials have said the homes must be either moved or demolished by November to keep construction plans on schedule. They plan to start building the $30 million high school in spring 2002.

Project proposals: School board members say they are looking over nine proposals from construction management companies that want to oversee the high school building project.

Board members met Monday with representatives from Eckles Architects to determine criteria to evaluate potential construction managers.

New Castle firm Copple-Rizzo had been hired as construction manager, but it went out of business earlier this year.

Superintendent Joseph Martin said RAR Engineering, a firm owned by former Copple-Rizzo partner Ron Rizzo, is one of the nine companies that submitted proposals for the construction management job.

Martin said he expects a new construction management firm to be hired in the next two months.




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