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With Buildings Closed, Pittsburgh Public Schools Plans On Finishing 42 Improvement Projects

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- When it comes to maintenance projects, sometimes there are advantages to not having kids in the building.

Pittsburgh Public Schools has been installing ventilation systems in every district building to be certain they can support the number of people who will be in those spaces.

Pam Capretta of Pittsburgh Public Schools says, "Given that our schools are currently closed, we are starting earlier in our buildings."

Students and teachers have been doing school from home since mid-March, but that doesn't mean there hasn't been anyone inside the buildings.

Maintenance crews have been hard at work for the past two months.

Capretta says Pittsburgh Public Schools plans to finish all 42 projects that are on the drawing board.

"The facilities team has been preparing for weeks with our legal department. We have an environmental hygienist on staff. We have been preparing protocols, updating contractor schedules to accommodate for social distancing," Capretta said.

Crews have used this time to make progress on multi-year projects, including air conditioning and lighting projects.

Water fountains are also being replaced and updated. They will be able to work on water systems across the district.

"They already flushed all our water systems once," says Capretta. "We will continue to monitor them. We also have a third-party consultant contract that we have worked with that does testing to make sure that all of our water systems are up to par."

Dr. Anthony Hamlet, the district superintendent, says, "We are looking at all those ideas, all those options, to make sure that we have the safest environment if we are given the go-ahead to go back to school."

One other thing Pittsburgh Public Schools is doing right now: identifying schools that may have social distancing issues and potentially could be overcrowded based on future state or federal guidelines.

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