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July 6, 2006

No decision on use for University Club

The fate of the University Club is still up in the air.

Chancellor Mark Nordenberg said June 23 that Pitt continues to evaluate uses for the University Club, the 82-year-old, eight-story building at 123 University Place that Pitt purchased in May 2005 for $3.1 million.

That purchase included one-acre of property with a 50-space parking lot. The former private club decided in 2004 to disband due to dwindling membership and increased debts. The building housed banquet and meeting rooms, 50 sleeping rooms, offices, a library and a recreation facility.

Suggestions for uses for the building have included a faculty/staff club, a recreation center, a conference center and housing for visitors.

Last fall, Pitt hired an outside consultant to evaluate potential uses for the University Club. Following the June 12 Senate Council meeting, Irene Frieze, then president of the University Senate, told the University Times, “As I understand it, the consultant has submitted a report, but many of the options that were discussed did not seem viable and they are looking at new options as well as re-evaluating options that were previously considered….it was implied that there will be a new report before anything else is done.”

Asked to elaborate on Frieze’s report, Nordenberg offered no timeframe for a decision. “We’re looking at uses for it that would be both cost-effective and effective in a programmatic sense. We’re working diligently to find the right combination of uses for the building,” he said.

The chancellor added that razing the building is not an option that Pitt is considering.

—Peter Hart

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