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The South Fayette Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a plan Wednesday to purchase 10 acres of land along Hickory Grade Road, with an eye toward building administrative and police offices there.

The township will pay $300,000 for the vacant property, which has been owned by Alan Alexson, a doctor who owns a nearby rehabilitation facility. Alexson had planned on building a four-story medical office on the land, and had received approval from the township to do so, but the plans were ultimately abandoned.

John M. Barrett, South Fayette’s manager, said the property could work for the township, which has long outgrown its 60-year-old building on Millers Run Road. The cramped structure contains administrative and police offices, the township library and a senior center. Before the sale is completed, soil samples will be taken to make sure the property on Hickory Grade Road can be developed. After agreeing to purchase the land, the board further agreed to spend $50,000 for geotechnical services at the site.

“We’re excited to be purchasing this property,” said Commissioner Joseph Horowitz.

Part of the reason the site was attractive to township officials is engineering work had already been done on it by Axelson, and he has agreed to transfer that work to the township. It is also close to the current township offices, Washington Pike, Interstate 79 and Route 50.

Once the move to a new facility is completed, Barrett said, the current township building would likely be demolished, and a new structure built there. The township will work with library and senior center officials to determine how they will be accommodated.

New township and police offices are part of a multi-step plan to improve and expand township facilities. At a strategic planning meeting in December, commissioners identified administrative and police offices as the top priorities for upgrades. Right now, Barrett pointed out, the police chief, receptionist and 20 officers work in a space that is just 1,820 square feet.

Staff Writer

Brad Hundt came to the Observer-Reporter in 1998 after stints at newspapers in Georgia and Michigan. He serves as editorial page editor, and has covered the arts and entertainment and worked as a municipal beat reporter.

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