Construction

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING TO: ALL RESIDENTS OF THE BRENTWOOD BOROUGH SCHOOL DISTRICT

This hearing is required by Act 34 of 1973 of the Pennsylvania Public School Code.  Notice is hereby given that the Board of School Directors of the Brentwood Borough School District has scheduled a public hearing in the Brentwood High School Auditorium, 3601 Brownsville Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15227, on March 7, 2024, at 7:00 p.m. The purpose of this hearing is to review the new Brentwood Borough Elementary School project and receive public comment.
 
The Board has approved and adopted the Maximum Project Cost of $40,058,927 and a Maximum Building Construction Cost of $28,735,630 for the Brentwood Borough Elementary School project.
 
A description of the project may be obtained from the Superintendent at the Central Offices, 3601 Brownsville Road, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15227, on or after Thursday, February 15, 2024.
 
All residents of the Brentwood Borough School District are invited to attend the public hearing.  Anyone who wants Agenda time has until 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 7, 2024, to contact the Superintendent at 412-881-2227 ext. 2400 to express the purpose of being placed on the Agenda for the hearing in question. Oral presentations will be limited to three (3) minutes.
Testimony will also be received from the floor at the hearing. Written testimony will also be accepted at the public hearing. 
 
Anyone who desires to submit written testimony at the public hearing should do so by delivering the written testimony to the Secretary of the School Board, Mrs. Donna J. Werner.  Questions may also be submitted to Mrs. Werner beginning February15, 2024.  Anyone submitting testimony or questions in writing should designate his/her name and address on 
the written material submitted.
 
After the actual Act 34 Hearing Date and prior to the Board of School Directors approving initial cost estimates and the Act 34 materials, the public will be given thirty (30) days to submit written comment or testimony. These written comments or written testimony should be submitted to the Superintendent’s Office by 1:00 p.m. on April 8, 2024.

Proposed New Elementary School

Summary

The last few years have been marked by rapid change. National and global events have impacted us all, making us thankful for the stability of our neighborhood and community institutions. As members of the Brentwood Borough Board of School Directors, we understand that while we may not be able to control events that happen elsewhere, by working together we can have a positive impact on our community, our families and the children we serve every day. As we look toward sustaining and growing our close-knit neighborhood, we have come to recognize that an investment in our school district through the construction of a new elementary school building is a wise course of action that will support our families for years to come.

World War I Era Construction

Since 2019, Brentwood School Board members, along with our administration, have been exploring the possibility of consolidating the District’s two elementary schools into one new school building. Elroy Elementary was built just after World War I in 1921. Moore Elementary School was already standing in 1915 when the district was incorporated. 
Although both buildings have been meticulously maintained over the years, time has taken its toll. Significant renovations are required on both the Elroy and Moore schools in order to keep the facilities safe and in good working order. A feasibility study conducted in 2017 indicated that the District would have to spend $5 to $7 million to renovate each elementary building for a minimum total cost of $12 million. According to the feasibility study, the following renovations, at minimum, are required:
  • New roofs at both schools
  • New windows at both schools
  • New boilers and duct work at both schools
  • Significant upgrades to HVAC and electrical
  • Extensive amounts of new brick and masonry on exterior facades
  • New internal doors and flooring at both schools
  • New parking lots at both schools
  • New playground surfaces and retaining walls at both schools

Due Diligence – A Recap

After the feasibility study was presented, the Brentwood School Board began the process of exploring the possibility of consolidating its two aging elementary buildings and constructing a new building. While the COVID-19 pandemic caused some delays, a variety of public discussions were held to consider the potential impact that a new school building would have on the community, including its tax burden, traffic and infrastructure. In addition to the monthly public board meetings that are available via livestream, the following public meetings were held to learn more about how the community would feel about building a new elementary school. 
  • October 7, 2020 - Virtual Townhall Meeting 
  • June 6, 2022 - In-person meeting with residents of West Willock and Olancha
Another public meeting will be held this spring at a date yet to be determined. All residents will be invited to attend.
In addition to the public meetings, multiple news articles were published through the InBrentwood Baldwin Whitehall magazine:
  • Summer 2019
  • Winter 2019
  • Winter 2020
  • Spring 2021
  • Summer 2021
  • Fall 2021
  • Fall 2022
  • Winter 2022
  • Spring 2023

Opportunity for Growth

In 2019, it was learned that St. Sylvester school and convent were closing and that the properties would be available for sale. After several rounds of discussions, the District came to a preliminary agreement with the Diocese of Pittsburgh to purchase the properties on the condition of securing the necessary approvals from Brentwood Borough. In late January 2023, the Borough granted the final approval which enabled the District to move towards the purchasing of the Diocese properties. We sincerely thank our local leaders for their consideration and assistance, and for providing a clear pathway to ensure the success of this important project.

Next Steps

The Brentwood Borough School District is at a natural inflexion point. Architects have been hired and the process of securing a company to handle the demolition of St. Sylvester's school, convent, and house will begin. The Board of School Directors and the administration continue to interview prospective agents who will be tasked with selling the elementary schools with two specific goals in mind. First, enhance the Brentwood community with the redevelopment of the properties. Second, add the properties to the Borough's tax assessment rolls which will generate new revenue. Before the project goes too far, additional public meetings will be held to discuss the construction project, its costs, and how the potential growth might affect the community. Everyone will be invited to attend, and the District will publicize the meetings as dates are solidified. We welcome and encourage your feedback and thank you for your interest in the District’s future.

Stability and Investment

Over the last several years, the Brentwood Borough School District Board and administration have worked together to thoughtfully and deliberately consider how to best use its community investment to serve our students, our families, and our borough. As your friends, relatives, and neighbors, we sincerely care about the long-term stability and well-being of our community. While we respect and honor our history, as an elected board, we recognize that we must take the steps necessary to ensure that our students are prepared to succeed and achieve in our global 21st century world. An investment in our school district today will not only support Brentwood’s stable tax base but will also encourage new growth so that our dynamic community continues to thrive for tomorrow’s children.
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