Pitt Trustees Committee Approves $70 Million in Building Projects

Issue Date: 
June 22, 2009
Chevron Science CenterChevron Science Center

The Property and Facilities Committee of the University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees has approved nearly $70 million in construction and renovation projects, highlighted by a $32,382,500 expansion and renovation project for Chevron Science Center, as well as the purchase of the Concordia Club for $2.1 million and a lease in Bridgeside Point II. The construction and renovation projects are expected to generate 484 construction-related jobs and four full-time, permanent Pitt facilities maintenance positions.

The expansion and renovation of the Chevron Science Center will feature a 31,331 square-foot, three-story addition above Ashe Auditorium. The project, which will pursue LEED Silver certification, will provide modern laboratory space for expansion of the synthetic organic chemistry and biomedical research programs. More than 10,000 square feet in the addition will be used for synthetic chemistry laboratory space, with the remainder of the space used for faculty offices, student carrels, a conference room, and other facilities.

“The organic synthesis group has been on the leading edge of collaborations with biomedical researchers within Pitt, UPMC, and at other prominent biomedical research centers to develop new compounds for clinical testing,” said Jerome Cochran, Pitt’s executive vice chancellor and general counsel. “The new, state-of-the-art facilities will not only enhance the research capabilities of current faculty members, but also will aid in the recruitment of the most highly qualified faculty and graduate students, as well as two new faculty hires that have been allocated for these programs.”

Other construction and renovation projects approved at the June 8 meeting include:

• a $27,788,700 project to develop an Olympic Sports Complex for men’s baseball, women’s softball, and men’s and women’s soccer;

• a $1.2 million project to upgrade the ventilation system in the basement and first floor of the Cathedral of Learning;

• a $3.2 million project to renovate 21,300 square feet in Pitt’s Thomas Boulevard location to accommodate the relocation of Pitt’s mailing services, surplus property, central receiving, and movers from the Lexington Tech Park Warehouse;

• a $2.5 million project to upgrade the electrical service at the Bradford campus; and

• a $2.5 million project to construct a new, 150-seat multipurpose facility and chapel on the Bradford campus.

The Olympic Sports Complex, which will be located adjacent to current facilities in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, will house three NCAA regulation competition venues for men’s baseball, women’s softball, and men’s and women’s soccer.  All three venues will have artificial turf playing surfaces, broadcast-quality sports lighting, scoreboards, and press boxes. The venues will seat 725 for soccer, 900 for baseball, and 600 for softball. The complex will be anchored by a 23,000 square-foot support building, which will house restrooms, concession stands, and training and locker-room facilities, as well as space for utilities and maintenance of the fields.

“This project will not only enhance Olympic sports at the University of Pittsburgh, but also will literally make this corner of campus a destination,” said Property and Facilities Committee Chair John Pelusi. “It will elevate Pitt’s facilities to be among the best in the Big East Conference. Just as important, this area will become another front door to this great University as people enter from Centre Avenue.”

The Concordia Club building, at 4024 O’Hara St. in Oakland, consists of approximately one-half acre of land, upon which is situated a three-story, 18,000 square-foot building, with banquet facilities, meeting rooms, and offices, as well as 25 parking spaces. Pitt has not yet determined a final use for the building, which had been most recently used as a private club.

“The University continuously monitors the local real estate market for strategic opportunities to purchase buildings and land,” explained Cochran. “The Concordia Club building is contiguous to other University-owned properties and is located within central campus. As such, acquisition of this property is considered both logical and prudent.”

The lease in the newly constructed Bridgeside Point II, 450 Technology Dr., Oakland, is for 144,265 square feet of research laboratory and office space and 349 parking spaces at an annual cost of $8,139,431. The lease, which begins Oct. 1, 2009, is for 10 years and contains two five-year renewal options. The space will be used for the School of Medicine research projects affiliated with the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics.