Pitt Trustees’ Property and Facilities Committee Approves $15 Million in Construction

Issue Date: 
November 2, 2009

A new residence hall for the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford campus and a new wellness center for the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown campus are the highlights of $15 million in construction projects approved Oct. 30 by the Property and Facilities Committee of Pitt’s Board of Trustees. In addition, the committee approved the purchase of the property at 315 Oakland Ave. in Oakland for $1.395 million for eventual conversion into undergraduate student apartments. The construction projects are expected to generate 80 on-site jobs and 32 support jobs.

The Bradford campus’ three-story residence hall will cost $5.42 million and house 103 students. The building, with 30,300 gross square feet, will consist of 20 two-bedroom, 3 three-bedroom, and 4 one-bedroom suites. The project is expected to be completed by August 2010.

“Because the Bradford campus has met its long-term enrollment goal of 1,500 full-time equivalent students and because changing student demographics have increased the number of traditional-age students from beyond commuting distance, Pitt-Bradford has an increased demand for on-campus residence facilities,” said Pitt Executive Vice Chancellor Jerome Cochran. “The new facility will provide students with an appropriate on-campus experience and aid in future recruitment.”

The new construction at the Johnstown campus, part of the University’s 12-year facilities plan, will be a 38,000-gross-square-foot multipurpose wellness and recreation center that will cost $9.66 million. The facility will include a multipurpose gymnasium, an elevated three-lane running track, a fitness center with weight and cardiovascular exercise equipment, a climbing wall, and two combination classroom/dance/exercise rooms, as well as public restrooms and office space. The project is expected to be completed by December 2010.

“The wellness center will provide a much-needed recreational and social space that has been long identified as a priority by Johnstown campus students,” said Cochran. “The current facilities are limited and over-capacity, given the demands posed by intercollegiate athletics, educational instruction, and intramural activity. The new facility also will be important for the Johnstown campus to satisfy the needs of its current resident students and achieve its enrollment targets.”

In addition, the committee approved the purchase of the three-quarter-acre parcel of land at 315 Oakland Ave., located directly next to Pitt’s Bouquet Gardens residences. The property has a 2.5-story, 5,000-square-foot building that, most recently, was used as offices. A closing by the end of December is anticipated.

“The University believes that the land is well suited for additional undergraduate student apartments. We are conducting zoning and design studies to advance the necessary planning for the project,” said Cochran.