Pitt Trustees’ Property and Facilities Committee Approves Projects Valued at $120 Million

Issue Date: 
April 27, 2008


Artist's rendering of the proposed addition to the Swanson School of Engineering.

The Property and Facilities Committee of the University of Pittsburgh’s Board of Trustees approved 12 construction and renovation projects totaling more than $120 million and a sublease from Magee Women’s Research Institute and Foundation for the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute at its April 14 meeting. The construction and renovation projects are expected to create 629 construction and 252 construction-support jobs, and the University will pay business privilege taxes of $188,436 on the construction.

The largest project is a $64,300,000 upgrade of Benedum Hall, home of the Swanson School of Engineering. The project will add 27,000 square feet of space with the addition of a mezzanine level. It will involve creating new, state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories as well as upgrades to the infrastructure and power and ventilation systems.

The committee also approved $21,111,000 to construct a 38,000-square-foot academic wing for the Falk Laboratory School. The new wing will contain 14 classrooms for kindergarten through the eighth grade, a new computer classroom, art room, library, cafeteria, science room, and support areas. In addition, the project will renovate more than 26,000 square feet in the existing facility for language arts, social studies, music, physical education, theater arts, and administration. The outdoor play area will be relocated to the west side of the building, which will be renovated for that purpose, and a new play area will be constructed on the gym roof.

Other projects approved at the meeting were:

  • $6,000,000 for upgrades to the chilled water plant in the Thomas Starzl Biomedical Science Tower;
  • $1,239,800 for installation of fire-suppression sprinklers on floors 12-23 of the Cathedral of Learning;
  • $5,370,000 for renovations to the 14th floor of Chevron Science Center to create an organic chemistry research laboratory;
  • $1,418,900 for Fitzgerald Field House court and seating renovation, including the creation of an National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)-regulation volleyball court and upgrades to the other courts;
  • $8,978,000 for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing infrastructure upgrades for Langley Hall, including energy conservation upgrades and complete renovation of the third floor into bioscience research laboratories;
  • $2,334,700 to renovate the third floor of Mervis Hall, creating new suites for administration and information technology services, as well as a new suite for the Master of Business Administration program that will house the placement, admissions, and career services departments;
  • $3,251,800 to renovate the Sutherland Hall food service area, the primary dining venue for students on Pitt’s upper campus, into an area similar to the popular Market Central in Litchfield Towers;
  • $1,753,000 to replace a steam line on Thackeray Street that will serve the new University Club and Benedum Hall;
  • $2,607,200 to renovate the sixth-floor inpatient unit of Thomas Detre Hall. The renovations will increase the bed capacity from 24 to 32 while increasing the number of single rooms. Upgrades to the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire-suppression systems also are planned; and
  • $1,920,000 to upgrade the Trees Hall Natatorium (pool) to comply with NCAA regulations. The project also will install a new diving board platform and railings and upgrades to the circulation, drainage, and heating systems.

The committee also approved a four-year lease of 8,600 square feet from Magee Women’s Research Institute and Foundation to provide laboratory space for researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Center. The annual rental cost is $476,135, and the lease runs from June 1, 2008, through May 31, 2012.