NEW CASTLE District to build road behind school
The board is looking for a new construction manager for its building project.
By LAURE CIOFFI
VINDICATOR NEW CASTLE BUREAU
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- New Castle School officials say they want the district to be a good neighbor.
That's why school board members decided to build a new public road behind the planned city high school. It will be turned over to the city after it is built.
The district and city were criticized earlier this year when the city agreed to close a portion of Reis Street for the new school. Emergency responders told council Reis was the most direct access to the nearly 100 homes behind the school and closing it could add 30 seconds to a minute to response times.
Four people living behind the school are appealing the street closure decision in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.
David Esposito of Eckles Architecture said the district decided to redesign that portion of the plan after hearing the public's concerns.
Original suggestion: School officials first suggested that emergency responders use a private parking lot and loading dock behind the school to reach the homes from East Street but later decided it wouldn't work.
"There was always the issue that there would be a truck blocking the loading dock and they couldn't get by," Esposito said.
The newly planned road will take Burger Place and extend it east to Rhodes Place and west to East Street, he said.
"I think it's a great idea," said Mayor Timothy Fulkerson.
Fulkerson said the district will have to come back to city council with its new plans, but that shouldn't be a problem if the road meets city standards.
Esposito said the school district will build the road and then turn it over to the city.
He said it will add to the project cost, but could not say how much. It will likely mean buying more asphalt, he said.
New manager needed: A street won't be the only new thing the city high school will get. School board members say they are looking for a new construction manager.
Environmental Laboratory Services was hired nearly two years ago for the job, but the company is defunct because owners Ron Rizzo and Pat Copple have split.
Board members agreed to solicit bids for the work. The details of how and when bids will be solicited will be worked out soon, said Marie Pisano, school business manager.