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Pittsburgh School Board Wants Proposals for Schenley School Redevelopment

Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) wants to make sure any future owner of the Schenley High School building in Oakland keeps the structure mostly intact rather than razing the historic building to make way for future development.

Working through Fourth River Development, the school board issued a request for proposals Monday, seeking at least $4 million in net profit for the structure.

Fourth River sales agent Pat Morosetti said he's hoping for some creative proposals as to a new usage for the school, which closed in 2008.

"Residential is probably what most people will see as the driving use in this building," said Morosetti. "That's not to say that's the only use."

He said he could picture the building accomodating several other uses, including office space and possibly even retail stores. 

A $4 million profit for the school district would translate to about $13 per square foot for the 320,000 square foot facility, a rate which Morosetti characterized as competitive and fair. A $2 million offer submited by a Philadelphia based firm that proposed changing the old school into apartments was rejected by the district.

Now that the RFP has been issued, prospective buyers can tour the 4.1-acre North Oakland property on November 27, and a question-and-answer session with the school board has been scheduled for the following day. All proposals are due to the school district by January 18. Morosetti said a final decision for Schenley's reuse would probably be made soon afterward.

Schenley High School opened in 1916. It has many notable alumni, including celebrated pop artist Andy Warhol as well as DeJuan Blair of the San Antonio Spurs pro basketball team.