Pyrite remediation to add to cost of new Penn Hills High School

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Pyrite remediation to add to cost of new Penn Hills High School

Post  HopefulInPh on Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:20 am

Pyrite remediation to add to cost of new Penn Hills High School
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
By Zak Koeske

The Penn Hills school board on Tuesday approved payments totaling nearly $267,000 to cover previously unforeseen construction work on the township's new high school building.

Most of the money, which comes from a $2.4 million project contingency fund, will go to Wheels Mechanical, the project's plumbing contractor, to perform pyrite remediation. The sulfide mineral, for which a test was not done before construction, was discovered during excavation.

Undisturbed and beneath the ground, pyrite doesn't pose a problem. But when exposed to water or air, it can expand and cause damage to surface structures.

Mike Prioletta, the representative of Turner Construction charged with managing the project, said this likely will not be the last time money will need to be taken from the contingency fund to pay for pyrite remediation. He called it an ongoing process and estimated that the total cost of pyrite remediation will approach $800,000.

"We've been putting exhaustive hours into monitoring this work, assuring that the public, the school project, the school district is not overpaying for these things," Mr. Prioletta said. "Yeah, it's a shame that money has to be spent for things that are unforeseen under the ground, but that's what happens when you do construction projects."

Mr. Prioletta said, however, the pyrite remediation won't affect the construction timeline. The new high school is expected to be finished by early January 2013



Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11096/1137339-100.stm#ixzz1IkT8VGTC

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HopefulInPh
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Re: Pyrite remediation to add to cost of new Penn Hills High School

Post  Rosedale Resident on Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:26 pm

At the March board meeting, the President of Architectural Innovations stated that over 400 test holes were drilled on the building site. 400 holes and they never found evidence of pyrite?

The existing high school was built on ground that is embedded with pyrite and the gym floor has had to be replaced in the past because of it. Now don't you think that maybe, just maybe, the engineers might have suspected pyrite to be present 300 yards away?
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Re: Pyrite remediation to add to cost of new Penn Hills High School

Post  HopefulInPh on Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:20 am

From another post: "According to a former school board member the high school was remediated for pyrite at a very high cost years ago. This information was mentioned to the Architect. They were told to be on the lookout for pyrite and to test for it. Perhaps the school board did not provide it in writing, in which case they would bear some of the responsibility. Sounds like from what I heard at the school board meeting, although they drilled many borings, they destructively drilled just to locate mine shafts. They apparently did not take core samples to be examined by a geologist and sent to the lab to look for pyrite. So if you are told to look for it and you don't look for it, then find it after the bids are in is it really "unforeseen"?"

http://www.yourpennhills.com/blog/wilson/it-time-penn-hills-school-district-consider-not-building-two-new-schools

If the info is correct the Pyrite Problem Was not "unforeseen". So who is responsible from the School District for overseeing the project?

And what now? The District just pays the $800,000? no big deal attitude?

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