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West Allegheny Middle School Renovation Project FAQ

The following FAQ originated from parent questions asked at the in-person and virtual information session.
Q:  What year was the school built?
A:  1974

Q:  When is construction expected to begin and end?
A:  Construction will begin in June of 2023 and is anticipated to end in December of 2024.
Q:  Will students need to relocate to another building during construction?
A:  No. The District recognizes the importance of limiting the impact to the academic day and has worked with the construction project team to plan a strategic construction schedule that will not require relocation of students and classrooms outside of the middle school building.  There will be structured relocation of classroom cohorts within the middle school limiting the impact on the academic day. Core content areas will be prioritized, and students will remain with the same teacher throughout relocation process.  
Q:  Will there be a library?
A:  Yes, a library will be part of the new and expanded Media Center, which will be located on the second floor.  Access to book check-out will remain available during construction.
Q:  What considerations were made for the addition of green/sustainable features in the school?
A:  New, state-of-the-art HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems will greatly enhance the school’s sustainability efforts.  Specifically, the addition of expansive windows, skylights and light shafts will complement the school’s new LED lighting systems, which will automatically adjust to levels of natural lighting. Environmentally conscience reduced flow plumbing fixtures will conserve water throughout the renovated building and a direct digital control HVAC system will allow for the highly efficient maintenance of building temperatures.
Q:  What measures will be in place to ensure the safety of the air quality during and after this work?
A:  Each phase of construction will be separated from the occupied portion of the building by the temporary construction of  two-hour fire rated dividing wall.  Due to the temporary walls, construction crews will not occupy student spaces and students will have no access into the construction area.  Large demolition construction activities during the project will be handled during non-school hours.  PSI Intertek, a Pittsburgh based testing and consulting agency, will be available for IAQ testing throughout the project.
Q:  Will construction workers have clearances?
A:  As with all of our construction projects, contractors/workers will be required to have the necessary clearances to work in a school setting.  Individual ID badges will be required of construction workers to be worn and visible at all times.
Q:  Will construction workers interact with students?
A:  Every effort will be made to restrict interaction. Two-hour rated fire safety walls and stair/entry restrictions will be in place to limit interaction and enhance safety throughout the renovation.  Construction workers will begin their workday in advance of the school day to limit interaction during drop-off.
Q:  What preventative measures will be in place to reduce construction sounds during the school day?
A:  Construction phasing will prioritize major demolition to be limited to summer and after school hours, and thick construction/fire walls will be in place around active construction zones to limit construction noise and academic disruption. 
Q:  Will incoming sixth graders have an opportunity to tour the building prior to the start of the 2023-2024 school year?
A:  Opportunities will be available to incoming sixth graders to visit the school prior to the start of school in the fall.  They include a move-up day prior to the end of this school year and families will be able to tour the school on August 22 to become familiar with school procedures and layout.  Construction phasing includes prioritizing a Sixth Grade Academy located on the first floor and is anticipated to be near completion by the start of the 2023-2024 school year. 
Q:  What safety measures will be added to the middle school?
A:  Student and staff safety remains a top priority for the District.  Given this, School Resource Officers were involved throughout the renovation project planning sessions and will be actively involved throughout construction.  State-of-the-art camera and security systems will be installed, and placement of windows and the entrance vestibule were strategically taken into consideration.  As a school safety practice, detailed security features including floor plans will not be available to the public.
Q:  Will emergency responders be made aware of the classroom relocation plans within the school?
A:  Regular updates will be provided to School Resource Officers and the North Fayette Police Department. Emergency exit plans have been developed and will remain in place for all areas of the school.
Q:  Are there any plans to add a second driveway entrance to the middle and high school campus?
A:  A second entrance to the middle and high school campus is planned as part of the Township approved project.
Construction of the secondary access road will begin after the full completion of the middle school project.  

Q:  Will lockers be available to students?
A:  A limited number of lockers will be available.  The current back-pack procedures will be in place going forward.
Q:  Will students still be able to walk to the middle school from the student parking area?
A:  Yes. Temporary fencing will be erected around active construction zones to protect sidewalk areas and current morning and afternoon procedures will remain.
Q:  Was there any consideration for adding awnings or a snow melt system to the sidewalks?
A:  An expansive awning will be added to the main entrance protecting students and staff from inclement weather.  A snow melt system was not considered due to prohibitive costs.