Mt. Lebanon High School's pool to be ready next week

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Some sections of Mt. Lebanon High School's new athletic facility are scheduled to open next week.

The Olympic-size swimming pool and a wrestling-fitness area will be ready for use, according to information provided at Monday's school board discussion meeting. Tom Berkebile of P.J. Dick, construction manager for the $109 million high school renovation project, said final inspections are being conducted this week.

Other portions of the athletic facility also are nearing completion, including the competition gymnasium, where bleachers will be installed during the next two to three weeks now that the floor is in place.

"We couldn't have asked for better humidity levels," Mr. Berkebile said about optimal conditions for the floor's placement.

Flooring also is expected be installed next week in one of the two auxiliary gymnasiums, where the bleachers for the main gym had been stored.

In another part of the school, the little theater in the fine arts building is nearly ready to open, with a final cleaning targeted to follow completion of the athletic building. A percussion concert is scheduled in the theater in early December.

As of the end of October, 64 percent of the construction costs for the renovation had been billed, including $244,386 in change orders that require board approval at next week's business meeting.

A contingency of $4.3 million was budgeted toward unforeseen additional costs, and 56 percent of that has been used, Mr. Berkebile said.

In other business Monday:

* Representatives from Maher Duessel presented a report to the board regarding the Pittsburgh accounting firm's audit of the district's 2012-13 school year finances.

Maher Duessel senior manager Amy Lewis said her firm has given Mt. Lebanon an "unmodified opinion," using a term specified by American Institute of Certified Public Accountants auditing reporting standards.

"We're giving you a clean opinion," Ms. Lewis explained.

She complimented the district's financial office staff for providing requested information in a well-prepared manner.

Ms. Lewis also mentioned new Governmental Accounting Standards Board standards that will affect the district's future record keeping.

For example, as of 2015 the GASB calls for payments to pension plans to be listed as a liability on financial statements. In the case of school districts, that applies to the ever-increasing contributions to the Public School Employees' Retirement System, which now are acknowledged simply with a footnote.

"Now you're going to be forced to expand that footnote to several pages, plus add a number to your balance sheet," Ms. Lewis said.

* Board members reviewed a contract, which they expect to award at next week's business meeting, to replace electrical service conductors at Lincoln Elementary School at a cost of $33,400.

Rick Marciniak, district project manager, said holes had been drilled into the existing conductors to allow for drainage of water. But during heavy rain, water is backing up into the system.

Work is expected to take place during winter break.

"We're definitely going to have a power outage that will last a day or two," Mr. Marciniak said.

Harry Funk, freelance writer:

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