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Contractor chosen for Etna Center for Community, Library

Originally posted in June 2021

Beechview Branch, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh


Volpatt Construction has been selected to be the general contractor for the Etna Center for Community (ECC), which will house Etna’s public library, community center, and other shared assets. With over 30 years of award winning projects, Volpatt brings valuable experience and expertise that will be instrumental in this project’s development. After a rigorous vetting process, Volpatt Construction was chosen as the construction team to provide predevelopment services, which include cost estimating and constructability reviews for the project, with the expectation that the services would lead towards full construction management.

“Forming an early relationship with a general contractor is important not only to establish working relationships, but to also hear feedback about the nature of the construction industry, the project’s design, current and projected market rates, and available workforce. By working together, a partnership with a general contractor can help guide our team’s decisions and ability to deliver the project successfully for the community,” Kendra Clarke explained.


Beechview Branch, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh


In addition to Kendra’s role on Etna Borough Council, Kendra serves on the Board of Directors of the Etna Community Organization (ECO) and brings her professional experience as a construction manager to the team. Through Kendra’s stewardship of the contractor selection process and ECC Building Committee, fifteen construction firms were reviewed, four were invited to submit qualifications, three were interviewed, and each had multiple in-depth reference calls. Ultimately, the ECC Building Committee recommended Volpatt to ECO’s Board who unanimously voted to bring them onto the project team.

“The Etna Center for Community is designed to be a high-performing building with energy-efficient construction and renewable energy production. It will combine the historic preservation of an 1885 landmark building and a contemporary, steel-and-glass addition. In order to achieve this aspirational project, a construction partner like Volpatt is imperative,” said Robert Tuñón, an ECO Board Member and an architect who has been helping out with the design on a pro bono basis. “The ECC Building Committee visited projects that Volpatt has completed, spoke to their past clients, and vetted their organization. So, we have a lot of faith that the right decision was made. Projects like this don’t happen overnight; they take years of hard work, persistence, and diligence, and we are excited to have Volpatt as a partner going forward.”


Forest Hills Municipal Building, photo by Ed Massery


Volpatt Construction has an extensive portfolio of successful projects with a similar size, scale, program type, and complexity to the Etna Center for Community, such as the Beechwood and Mt. Washington Branches of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Both of these renovations included additions which resemble the vision of ECC: an accessible, bright, and modern interior space to be enjoyed by multiple generations. Volpatt also worked with the Borough of Forest Hills to create their new municipal building. This project utilized renewable energy infrastructure such as solar panels and geothermal heating which allows the building to operate off the electrical grid. Volpatt's construction management team worked with municipal leaders in Forest Hills throughout the whole construction process, from meeting with committees to helping with fundraising, and ultimately delivering a beautiful, state-of-the-art building.

"For me, it was Volpatt's experience with the Forest Hills Municipal Building, the first net-zero building in the region, that really sealed the deal. We heard directly from the client side, Forest Hills Councilmember Patty DeMarco, about how instrumental Volpatt was through the entire development process. I am confident that this team will be able to help us achieve our own EcoDistrict visions through the construction of the Etna Center for Community," shared ECO Board Member Alexis Boytim.


Forest Hills Municipal Building, photo by Ed Massery


Volpatt Construction's sustainable building practices do not stop with the final building product, but also in how they build the buildings. They focus on how to reduce and recycle construction waste, as the construction industry as a whole is a major contributor to landfills. In addition, they have a commitment to work with local tradespeople when they meet the qualifications for the project.

“We are proud to partner with the Etna Community Organization and lend our experience in building and maintaining sustainable construction, as well as our innovative building techniques to this historic project,” said Raymond Volpatt, Jr, President of Volpatt Construction. “Our transparent approach will engage the people and establishments in Etna to create a positive experience from planning through project completion. Through our relationships with UrsaLeo and Connect Up Technologies we will optimize workflow, make project collaboration more efficient, and keep the workforce safe. These cutting-edge solutions are in concert with the overall vision behind what Etna has for this project and we look forward to its success.


ETNA COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION CONTACT: Megan Tuñón, Executive Director,

megan@etnacommunity.org, 412-660-4667


VOLPATT CONSTRUCTION CONTACT: Jamison Vernallis, jamison@volpatt.com, 412-942-0200

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