Trustees Approve More than $25 Million in Construction/Renovation Projects

Issue Date: 
October 12, 2015

The Property and Facilities Committee of the University of Pittsburgh’s Board of Trustees has approved two construction and renovation projects costing $25,635,000 as well as five leases. The projects are expected to create 138 construction jobs and 55 support jobs. The leases will generate $229,688 annually in property taxes for local government.

The largest project approved was $23 million for construction and renovation of the John P. Murtha Center for Public Service and National Competitiveness at Pitt’s Johnstown campus. The project comprises three parts, including construction of a new, 7,400-square-foot building that will be called the John P. Murtha Center for Public Service. The project’s second phase entails infrastructure and exterior renovations to Johnstown’s Engineering and Science Building, which will be known as the John P. Murtha Engineering and Science Building. It is expected that both projects will be built to LEED Silver certification standards. A third component includes renovations to laboratories in Johnstown’s Krebs Hall.

“The Murtha Center will provide a much-needed multipurpose space on campus that is capable of hosting workshops; academic symposia; student assemblies; public debate; and discussion and inquiry into key local, regional, and national issues,” said Art Ramicone, Pitt senior vice chancellor, chief financial officer, and interim executive vice chancellor. “The center will support campus strategic goals to support civic participation and greater engagement in the local and regional communities.”

The board also approved $2.635 million to upgrade elevators in Sutherland Hall on Pitt’s Oakland campus. Sutherland Hall, which was constructed in 1992, is a 739-bed residence hall with two towers, one of 10 stories and the other, 12 stories, with a two-story connecting structure. The new elevators will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, be more energy efficient and reliable, and reduce maintenance costs.

The five leases approved are:

• A five-year lease for $561,302 annual rent for 22,000 square feet at Bridgeside Point I to house the University’s Center for Craniofacial and Dental Genetics;

• A 10-year lease for $803,317 annually for 40,000 square feet at 403 East Winding Hill Rd., Mechanicsburg, Pa., to house programs in the School of Social Work;

• A five-year lease for $823,535 annually for 27,000 square feet at Sterling Plaza to house research components for Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic;

• A five-year lease for $683,993 annually for 22,000 square feet at Sterling Plaza to support research programs of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute; and

• A 10-year lease for $448,206 annually for 13,582 square feet at Schenley Place to house the Office of Finance.