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$16M Separates Options for City’s Public Schools

By Jodi Weigand

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The city school district’s proposed 2011 capital budget includes projects at eight schools.

Pittsburgh Public Schools board members were presented two options Tuesday: the full capital program totaling $64 million and a $48.4 million downscaled version that includes only vital improvements at Arlington, Brashear, King, Knoxville, Northview, Oliver, Perry and Westinghouse.

The full-scale option includes consolidating Arlington PreK-2 and Arlington 3-8 at a cost of $29.5 million.   It calls for the demolition of the 3-8 building and constructing a building on the site to house K-8 students.

A scaled-down $14.2 million version would cover maintenance at the 3-8 building and incorporating a PreK program there.

The board was offered a less-costly version of its proposed career and technical education program at Oliver High School at a reduced cost of $13.4 million.  A version nearly double the cost would renovate existing labs into state-of-the-art facilities.

To fund the projects, the district will seek debt service through two federal programs that would allow it to borrow at a 20 percent cheaper rate per year than it has now.

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