Students of Montour High School can breathe a sigh of relief—their new, $52 million school has been granted an occupancy permit by Robinson officials.
The school year will now start on Monday without a hitch, said Superintendent Donald Boyer.
An agreement was reached between district and school officials Monday, and announced to the public at Thursday's meeting.
The building, which was under a temporary permit during the 2011-2012, was denied a final occupancy permit due to a a secondary access road that did not meet grading requirements, said Montour superintendent Donald Boyer.
The district hired lawyers last month and filed a petition in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas to counter the township's claim that the building was not up to code. The school district requested a $300,000 refund from the township for inspection services.
“The ordinance that they were saying we didn’t qualify for was never legally adopted by the township,” Boyer said. “You can’t enforce what you didn’t adopt.”
The temporary permit was given a 180 day extension, but Boyer said that the final permit will be automatic if the school fixes the grade of the road to be 18 percent or less.
“We are in the process of having the general contractor make it conform to the specifications,” Boyer said during the meeting.
The school board also took a step forward its effort to consolidate its elementary into a single building, by approving appraisals on its three existing elementary facilities.
The appraisals, which will total $6,000, were awarded to Kyle P. McGown, Dan McCown & Co., Inc.
“The board is not totally committed to that, but in order to properly plan, we have to get some established value for the existing buildings that would be available for sale,” Boyer said.
The school must an application to the Pennsylvania Department of Education for the facility before Oct. 1 in order to receive reimbursement for the project.
“If we can sell them for a hundred million dollars, then we wouldn’t have to worry about how we are going to build the building,” said board president Ronald Smith.
The appraisals are only the first step of the planning process, and is expected to be completed in six to seven weeks.
“It will probably take a year from that point to design and everything, then it’s put out for bid,” Boyer said. “It’s at that point when we are committed to do it.”