Pitt Board’s Property and Facilities Panel Approves $152 Million in Construction, Renovation

Issue Date: 
October 10, 2011
Rendering of residence hall at corner of Fifth Avenue and University PlaceRendering of residence hall at corner of Fifth Avenue and University Place

The Property and Facilities Committee of the University of Pittsburgh’s Board of Trustees has approved 16 construction and renovation projects totaling $152 million and nine lease renewals at its Oct. 3 meeting.

The construction and renovation projects are expected to create 737 construction and 295 construction-support jobs. The University will pay building permit fees of approximately $127,890, as well as $202,375 annually in real estate taxes on the leases.

The highlight of the approved projects is the construction of a 10-story, 559-bed residence hall at the corner of Fifth Avenue and University Place at a total projected cost of $59 million. The first floor will consist of commercial retail space, and the second floor will contain a Wellness Center comprising Student Health Services and the Counseling Center.

“Undergraduate housing and student services were identified as high priorities in the University’s 12-year facilities plan adopted in 2006,” said Pitt’s Executive Vice Chancellor and General Counsel Jerome Cochran. “We estimated a need for an additional 500 beds to recruit and retain a diverse and highly qualified student body. This new facility, located in the center of campus, will create a sense of community among the freshman students.”

The committee also approved $41.3 million to construct a five-story, 57,000-square-foot addition to Parran and Crabtree halls to accommodate the relocation and expansion of research facilities for the Graduate School of Public Health. The project includes infrastructure upgrades to Parran Hall and is registered to achieve LEED Certification.

Three renovation projects were approved for Chevron Science Center:

• Creation of a Molecular Characterization Facility on the third and fourth floors to house as many as eight nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers, X-ray diffraction equipment, office space, and mechanical support systems. The $3.89 million project will centralize and consolidate projects in a more efficient manner;

• A $4 million renovation to the second-floor laboratories to enable the transition of the general chemistry program to a new paradigm based on digital probes and chemical sensors tied into a local area data collection network; and

• A $1.38 million project to convert 10th-floor lab space for inorganic and materials chemistry research into new facilities focusing on nanoparticle research, with applications ranging from solar-cell development to medicine.

Three projects were approved for Pitt’s regional campuses:

• Construction of a two-story, 16,900 gross-square-foot building on the Greensburg campus to house computer technology, faculty offices, and support space with an emphasis on sustainability. The $7.5 million project is seeking LEED Silver Certification;

• A $1.4 million project to upgrade the infrastructure at Greensburg’s Chambers Hall; and

• A $4.6 million addition and renovation project for the Titusville campus’ McKinney Student Union food service facility. The project will renovate the existing “Boomers” retail food court area to expand retail dining opportunities. The addition includes 5,200 square feet of new space for food service and dining and 2,900 square feet for kitchen and support space. The new facility will replace the outdated and underutilized food service facility at Ball Hall.

Other projects approved for the Pittsburgh campus include:

• A $6.53 million project to renovate the first four floors of Thackeray Hall and provide infrastructure upgrades. The project will provide new classrooms for the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, the University Registrar, and related offices;

• A $5.9 million project to renovate the A-Stem Laboratory in Scaife Hall for the School of Medicine’s Department of Neurosurgery;

• A $5 million project to provide programmatic and infrastructure upgrades to Allen Hall and Old Engineering Hall (OEH) in the University’s midcampus complex;

• A $1.33 million project to renovate physics teaching laboratories on the fourth floor of OEH, including the creation of a new optics laboratory;

• Renovations to Thomas Detre Hall that will add 10 inpatient beds on the seventh floor of the ERC Wing and relocate the WPIC pharmacy. The project will cost $3.38 million;

• A $2.7 million project to renovate the first and second floors of 3343 Forbes Ave. to accommodate the relocation of the University Center for Social and Urban Research, formerly housed on the site of what will be the new freshman residence hall;

• A $1.29 million renovation to the second floor of Eberly Hall to create a wet laboratory and a spectroscopy laboratory for physical chemistry research in bio-nanostructures; and

• A $2.48 million project to create in the basement of OEH a quantum transport laboratory capable of low-temperature physics research.

The committee also approved nine leases or lease extensions at the meeting:

• A two-year lease extension through June 30, 2013, for Student Health Services in the Medical Arts Building, 3708 Forbes Ave.;

• A five-year lease renewal for the School of Medicine’s Departments of Otolaryngology and Opthalmology for research, clinical, and office space in the Eye and Ear Institute Building at 203 Lothrop St., through June 30, 2016;

• A 65-month lease renewal and expansion for the School of Medicine’s Center for Craniofacial and Dental Genetics in the Bridgeside Point One building on Second Avenue in the Pittsburgh Technology Center, through Sept. 30, 2016;

• A five-year lease for the Graduate School of Public Health to relocate functions being affected by the Parran and Crabtree halls construction to the Keystone Building, 3520 Fifth Avenue, through April 20, 2016;

• A three-year lease renewal for research laboratory space for the Department of Urology in the Shadyside Medical Center, 5200 Center Ave., through June 30, 2014;

• A five-year lease renewal for three programs in the Department of Epidemiology in the Bellefield Professional Building, 130 N. Bellefield Ave., through Dec. 31, 2016;

• A seven-year, four-month lease for the Department of Medicine’s Research Administration Office in the Forbes Allies Center, 3109 Forbes Ave., through June 30, 2019;

• A five-year lease extension that combines two subleases for the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute in the Magee Women’s Research Institute, 204 Craft Ave., through Sept. 30, 2016; and

• A 20-year lease for the Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center to relocate its research operations to the Oak Hill Town Center Building, Oak Hill Drive, through July 31, 2032.