Pitt Trustees’ Properties and Facilities Committee Approves $46 Million In Construction, Renovations

Issue Date: 
March 1, 2010

The Property and Facilities Committee of the University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees approved nearly $46 million in construction and renovation projects, highlighted by a $28.2 million laboratory expansion and renovation project for the Department of Physics and Astronomy; it also approved three third-party leases for more than 190,000 square feet of space. The construction and renovation projects are expected to generate 248 construction and 99 construction-support jobs and create three experimental physics research faculty positions.

The $28.2 million project, titled “Mid-campus Complex Renovations, Phase Two,” will build or renovate 13 experimental physics laboratories, primarily in Allen Hall, Old Engineering Hall, and the Nuclear Physics Laboratory. The project will provide the University’s Nanoscience and Technology Initiative with improved and expanded facilities for eight existing faculty members and for the three newly created positions. Two other experimental physics research groups will receive upgrades to their facilities. The $28.2 million project is supported by a $15 million construction grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology as part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), with the remainder of the funds coming from the University.

Other construction and renovation projects approved at the meeting were:

A $1.925 million project to construct a new greenhouse on the sixth-level roof of Langley Hall for the Department of Biological Sciences, to accommodate an increase in the number of undergraduate and graduate students performing botany studies;

A $2 million project to renovate approximately 9,000 square feet of space on the ninth floor of the William Pitt Union, to be used by the Office of Student Affairs, William Pitt Union staff, and student organizations. The renovation will provide a new student study area/lounge and offices for Residence Life, PITT ARTS, and a chaplain. Renovations also will include a 20-person conference room and a kitchen area;

A $2 million project for Phase One of the Smith Hall infrastructure upgrade on the Greensburg campus. This project will feature installation of energy-efficient lighting, heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems for the auditorium, student reception area, and foyer;

A $5.9 million project to upgrade the chemistry and biology laboratories in Fisher Hall of the Bradford campus. The improvements include energy-efficient upgrades to the infrastructure, as well as improvements to maintain compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act;

A $1.6 million project to replace the air-handling units serving Ashe Auditorium in the Chevron Science Center;

A $1.56 million project to convert existing office space in Lothrop Hall into 47 new undergraduate beds, bringing Pitt’s total on-campus undergraduate housing capacity total to 7,241 beds; and

A $2.8 million project for site preparation and utility extensions for the construction of a 150- to 200-bed undergraduate apartment complex adjacent to Bouquet Gardens.

The three leases approved by the committee were:

An eight-year, 10-month lease with BPA II, Ltd., for 17,404 square feet of research and office space in Bridgeside Point II to house the Translational and Basic Neuroscience research programs in the Department of Psychiatry. The space will be used to accommodate the laboratories of six new faculty members in neurology and brain research. The annual rental cost will begin at $817,988 and be adjusted annually;

A five-year lease for 29,153 square feet of space in the Sterling Plaza Building to house the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP), which is conducting research and large-scale clinical trials in cancer prevention and therapy. The National Cancer Institute provides primary support for the NSABP, and the funds for this year through 2011 include more than $200,000 in ARRA funding annually. The lease, which runs through December 2015, will have an initial annual cost of $816,284; and

A 20-year lease for 143,742 square feet in the John G. Rangos Research Center located in Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, to house programs in the School of Medicine. The cost of the lease, when the space is fully occupied, will be $12.36 million annually.