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$2.3M contract will include safety, lighting upgrades and new elevators
(Tube City Almanac file photo)
Renovating the Lysle Boulevard parking garage is another important step toward turning around the decline of the Downtown business district, McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko said.
City council this month awarded a $2.3 million contract to Kucich Construction Co. of McKeesport for work that will include new safety lighting, electrical upgrades, elevators, concrete deck repairs and other improvements.
The work will be paid for through a state Department of Transportation multi-modal grant awarded to the city in 2018.
“I think it’s a key component to attracting businesses, not just to the Daily News Building, but to the People’s Building and the Executive Building as well,” Cherepko said. “Barring any major setbacks due to obtaining material, I would expect the work to last approximately a year.”
The Daily News Building — now called the Tube City Center for Business and Innovation — is rented by a variety of tenants, including the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, Flashover Fire Apparatus, Point Park University and Tube City Community Media.
State Rep. Matt Gergely recently relocated his office to the Tube City Center, and a Flashover Fire spin-off, Mission Critical Clothing, recently announced plans to expand on the second floor of the building into space previously occupied by the Boys & Girls Club of Western Pennsylvania.
The 400-space garage, built in 1959, has been closed to the public since 1999, when parts of the concrete deck began deterioriating. The upper levels are currently used for storage of boats that were abandoned by their owners at the McKees Point Marina.
McKeesport officials have solicited bids on the repairs numerous times, but struggled to attract qualified contractors.
Officials attributed the delays to the COVID-19 pandemic, which shut down construction on many projects and disrupted supply lines. Other regional construction projects also stalled during the pandemic.
Cherepko thinks the complexity of the project also discouraged some small contractors.
“We went out to bid numerous times and did not get a bid,” he said. “A lot of that, I think, is just because of what’s all involved — including the funding and the cost.”
City officials have worked with PennDOT and the winning bidder, Kucich, to keep the scope of the work within the grant award, Cherepko said, which is allowed by state law.
Cherepko said the city’s community development director, A.J. Tedesco, will oversee the project, along with city engineer Bill Garvin.
Originally published September 26, 2023.