Casino construction still on schedule despite harsh weather
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Wintry blasts of snow, sleet and gusty winds have delayed efforts to enclose the North Shore casino, but won't affect the timetable for opening the $800 million complex.
Crews now are shooting to have the Rivers Casino fully enclosed by early February, about a month and a half later than the initial mid-December target date.
But despite the delays, the casino is still on track to open between Aug. 1 and Aug. 15, General Manager Ed Fasulo said yesterday.
Mr. Fasulo said contractors have erected temporary partitions and brought in large portable heaters so that work could start inside parts of the casino even as crews are completing the exterior skin.
That has allowed the casino's construction to stay on course, he said.
"We haven't lost any time and we're right where we expected to be," he said.
Contractors are confident enough in the progress that double shifts at the casino site just west of the Carnegie Science Center ended after the start of the new year. About 385 people currently are working at the site. That number will rise to a peak of about 480 by mid-February.
Workers will hit another milestone tomorrow when the last precast concrete beam is set into place on the casino's massive 3,872-space parking garage, the subject of a still unresolved lawsuit.
Meanwhile, the first casino job fair will be held near the end of March, Mr. Fasulo said. Others are scheduled for April and May.
More than 1,000 jobs are expected to be available at the riverfront slots parlor, but the bulk of the hirings won't take place until mid-June, Mr. Fasulo said.
So far the few hirings that have occurred were for upper management jobs.
To find out more about current opportunities, go to www.thepittsburghcasino.com and click on the employment tab. Visitors also can sign up to receive job and casino updates.
The casino originally was scheduled to open in May. That was before work stopped for nearly eight weeks when Detroit businessman Don Barden failed to secure permanent financing for the construction.
A group led by Chicago billionaire Neil Bluhm then took over the project and set August 2009 as the new opening date.
First Published January 15, 2009 12:06 am