Seneca Valley board learns about wetlands at new school site

August 9, 2019 Cranberry Local News

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JACKSON TWP — As a project to construct a new elementary school in the Seneca Valley School District moves forward, officials are looking at the potential impact the project would have on wetlands at the site.

The Seneca Valley School Board is considering a joint permitting and wetland delineation process for the new school to be built off Ehrman Road at the border of Cranberry and Jackson townships. The building will replace an aging school in Evans City that houses elementary and middle school classrooms.

The board this week heard from Virginia Loaney, project manager for civil engineering firm Herbert, Rowland & Grubic. She said while the board was considering two options for the location of the new building, the firm did “due diligence” to research whether wetlands existed on either of the properties. The study confirmed wetlands existed on both.

After the Ehrman Road site was chosen, the firm worked to identify how the project would potentially affect those wetlands, with road and grading work having the greatest impact. HRG and CannonDesign will undertake official wetland delineation measures, which Loaney said includes outlining the overall impact.

“It's documenting through field work and investigating the locations of those wetlands, the type of wetlands, stream locations and any other regulated waters,” she said.

Once environmental scientists complete the report, they will submit it to the state Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“They verify that what we've documented is in fact accurate on-site,” Loaney said.

The joint permitting process also includes documenting the means of mitigation of the wetland disturbances. The board will consider the matter at its meeting at 7 p.m. Monday.

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J.W.  Johnson Jr.

J.W. Johnson Jr.

J.W. Johnson Jr. is the bureau chief of the Cranberry Eagle. Johnson is a native of Bellaire, Ohio, and graduated from Bellaire High School in 2004. He is a 2009 graduate of Ohio University in Athens with a bachelor of specialized studies degree in English and journalism. While there, he served as a reporter and editor at The Post, the university’s student-run, independent newspaper. In 2009, he was hired as a reporter for The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register in Wheeling, W.Va. Over the course of eight years, he also served as Marshall County bureau chief, city editor and news editor. He also won two first place West Virginia Press Association Awards for his reporting and design work. He and his wife, Maureen, live in Carnegie.