Borough Building Updates

Borough Building 1914

Image of the original Swissvale Borough Building from a postcard sent on August 20, 1914.  View from the corner of S. Braddock Ave and Roslyn Street.

First Bids Received for New Building

The bid opening for construction of the new Municipal Building was held on January 23, 2024. Unfortunately, the bids were 48% over the cost estimate prepared by CORE Architects with a total cost of almost $8.7 million.

It would be fiscally irresponsible for the Borough to award these contracts and burden the taxpayers with this amount of debt service for the next 25 years. Council voted to reject all bids at the February 7, 2024 Regular Council Meeting. 

We are currently exploring options to reduce the scope of the project without requiring a major re-design and costing the taxpayers additional money and time. We are also exploring additional grant funding. We will continue to explore all options to provide a new Municipal Building that will serve the needs of the Borough and community members for years to come at a cost that is responsible to our tax payers.

Out With The Old, In With The New

As 2023 draws to a close, so does a significant chapter in Swissvale history. The former Borough Building that stood at the corner of South Braddock Ave and Roslyn Street for over 100 years, has reached the end of its usable life. The building housed the Borough’s Admin, Fire, Police and Public Works at one time. After a partial collapse of the building in early 2020, it was clear that the building was no longer salvageable and plans to construct a new building began. 

As of January 1, 2024, the asbestos abatement has been completed and the building structure has been leveled. Demolition crews will remain onsite over the coming weeks to clear the rubble and debris. The contractors have been instructed to salvage around 1,000 of the orange brick from the building’s exterior to reuse in the new building that will be built on the same site. The bricks will be incorporated into the new building’s design to pay homage to the old building and it’s significance to Swissvale. 

Residents can follow the progress of the building demolition and construction live on the Borough’s YouTube Channel. 

Demolished Building

Demolition Live Stream

Daily Live Streams of the Borough Building Demolition are available to view on the Borough's YouTube Channel.

Borough Building partial wall missing

Demolition Begins

Council awarded a contract to Gil Berry and Associates at the July 5th Regular Council meeting for the asbestos abatement and demolition of the former Municipal Building located at 7560 Roslyn Street. The Notice to Proceed was issued and the asbestos abatement and demolition are beginning. Abatement will likely take about 6 weeks to complete, after which the rest of the building will be leveled. Construction of the new building should begin in the early spring. Danger sign

Staff Relocation

February 2023 - The Borough Administrative Office and Police Station have moved into the former Woodland Hills Intermediate School (old West Junior High) at 7600 Evans Street. This location will serve as Borough Offices for approximately the next two years while the former building at 7560 Roslyn Street is demolished and the brand new building is built.Line of Police Cars 1

Swissvale Municipal Building Project

August 2022 - The Borough of Swissvale is in the process of designing a new Municipal Building to replace the current 116 year old building. The plan would include the demolition of the existing building located at the corner of Roslyn Street and South Braddock Avenue and constructing a new building on the same property.

The plans shown here are the results of the schematic design process completed by CORE Architects and Lennon, Smith, Souleriet Engineers and recommended by the Swissvale Borough Municipal Building Committee.  The plans represent a concept of what the new Municipal Building will look like but are subject to some modifications throughout the design process.

The project is being designed with sustainability in mind and all aspects of the building and site development will meet or exceed the requirements of the building codes.  Solar panels are planned for the building, all plumbing fixtures will be low flow, all lighting circuits will be controlled by motion sensors and all HVAC equipment will be high efficiency in order to keep our energy costs low and help reduce our carbon footprint.

Please click through the slideshow below to view images and read descriptions of the proposed designs. 

Swissvale Borough Council will be voting on September 7, 2022 whether or not to move to the next stage of the design process.

Please check back for periodic updates on the design and construction of our new Swissvale Borough Municipal Building.

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Cost Estimate and Building Schedule

Cost Estimate - This is a preliminary cost estimate and is subject to change as the design is refined and as a result of the fluctuating market for materials and supplies. 

Building Schedule – This is a preliminary schedule and is subject to change based upon the availability of materials and supplies necessary to construct the facility.

Core Boring Complete

July 2022 - Construction Engineering Consultants of Swissvale drilled core borings at 7560 Roslyn Street in preparation for the new Municipal Building to be constructed at this site.  The purpose of the core borings is to perform a subsurface soil investigation to determine the soil types underneath which will help the architects design the proper type of footer based upon the subsurface conditions.


Contracts Awarded

Spring 2022 - Swissvale Council  awarded a contract to CORE Architects for the design of a new municipal building to replace the existing Borough Building at the corner of South Braddock Avenue and Roslyn Street. CORE has done other work in the Borough including designs for the Dickson STEAM Academy renovations and the proposed designs for the Swissvale Library.

Council also awarded a contract to LSSE Engineers for the Civil and Geotechnical Engineering work for the new building. The Building Committee, which is chaired by Council member William Price and includes council members Weldianne Scales and Shawn Alfonso Wells, will be meeting with design consultants and staff to begin the design process. 

Ms. Scales shared at a recent council meeting that both CORE Architects and LSSE Engineers met the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion goals that the Building Committee has set for this project. 

These are the very preliminary steps of a long and detailed process. We are anticipating a nine-month design and permitting process. We would like to demolish the current building by the end of 2022 and break ground for the new building early in 2023. We will continue to update you on the progress of the design and construction.

Borough Building Replacement Plan

Spring 2020 - The necessity to either completely renovate or replace the aging Borough Municipal Building has been a lingering concern for years. In the spring of 2020, the urgency to address the building’s condition was further highlighted when the rear wall of council chambers collapsed onto and through the roof of the Public Works garage. (Pictured below.) Thankfully, no one was injured. 

Council has spent the past year working with CORE Architects to determine if it was feasible to renovate the Borough Municipal Building and continue to occupy the 115 year-old structure. After a thorough analysis, CORE found that the building needed far too many repairs to make it economically feasible to renovate due to code compliance, structural and environmental issues. CORE has recommended the demolition of the existing building and construction of a new 14,000 square foot municipal building at the existing location at the corner of S. Braddock and Roslyn.  

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