Development proposals sought for Schenley High
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The request for proposals for the sale and reuse of the former Pittsburgh Schenley High School in Oakland calls for a development that would rehabilitate and re-use the historic closed school.
The request for proposals was issued Monday and requires a minimum net sales price of $4 million.
Pittsburgh Public Schools has hired Fourth River Development as its agent to market the property.
The deadline for proposals is noon Jan. 18, with sealed bids to be opened at 2 p.m. the same day. Proposals will be posted on the Internet on Jan. 22.
The district will review the proposals and make a recommendation to the superintendent. The recommended bidder then will have to make a community presentation.
The school board will vote on a final selection.
Potential bidders, by appointment, may inspect the building on Nov. 27. Bidders must attend a pre-proposal conference on Nov. 28.
The request for proposals says the building must be retained and rehabilitated to historic standards.
It notes: "Due to the unique, historic nature of the neighborhood and the property itself, special consideration must be given in all proposals for the preservation of the property and the effect that any reuse will have on the local community."
The school, built in 1916, is in the Schenley Farms Historic District and is also in the Pittsburgh Public Schools National Register of Historic Places Thematic Group.
The document calls for achieving a "high-quality development that complements adjacent properties and enhances the surrounding community" and that capitalizes on the "historic and architectural significance of the building."
The triangular building sits on 4.1 acres and is 320,000 square feet.
Some of the district's goals include creating opportunities for providing community input; providing financial benefit to the district and community; and creating opportunities for minority-, women- and disability-owned business enterprise.
The board last fall rejected a $2 million bid from PMC Property Group of Philadelphia, which planned to spend $35 million to transform the school into apartments.
Over the summer, a study facilitated by Pfaffmann + Associates and funded through Pittsburgh Councilman Bill Peduto's office, examined possible adaptive reuses of the building and received community input.
That report is included in the bid documents.
The report reviews mixed use possibilities, including using the bottom floors for education, such as lifelong learning for adults or a thematic charter school; the auditorium for nonprofits; and the upper floors for 93 apartments.
The school board voted 5-4 last month to seek bids.
Some believe the district can't afford to hang on to the building, which was closed in 2008, and others believe the building is too valuable to the district to sell.
The Schenley building was closed after then-superintendent Mark Roosevelt said it would cost too much to renovate, including resolving an asbestos problem. Others contend Mr. Roosevelt overstated the issues.
The request for proposals can be found at www.frd.us.com/pghschools/schenley.htm.
First Published October 9, 2012 12:00 am