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July 21, 2016

Trustees approve $110 million capital budget

Pitt trustees have approved more than $20.36 million in funding for a 200-bed residence hall and expansion of dining facilities at Pitt-Bradford as part of a $110.03 million fiscal year 2017 capital budget.

On recommendation by the board’s budget committee, the trustees executive committee on July 18 approved $55.77 million in educational and general (E&G) construction and $54.26 million in non-E&G projects, including the Pitt-Bradford construction.

Subject to the approval of the board’s property and facilities committee, the new three-story residence hall at Pitt-Bradford will replace aging 1970s-era townhouses and provide additional student housing capacity. The project cost is estimated at $15.65 million.

Another $4.71 million is budgeted for renovation of 12,000 square feet of existing dining space and the addition of 700 square feet of space to accommodate 50 more seats. The kitchen is slated for a 3,100-square-foot expansion to provide additional refrigeration and freezer capacity, dishwashing, storage, office, staff locker and recycling station space.

Livingston Alexander, president of Pitt’s Bradford and Titusville campuses, told the University Times that the planned residence hall construction would begin next summer, with the new hall opening for occupancy in fall 2018.

The new residence hall will add 70 beds, which will only partially address the ongoing demand for on-campus housing on the Bradford campus.

“Given our continuing transition to a primarily residential campus, there is a growing need for on-campus housing,” Alexander said.

“More and more students who wish to enroll at Pitt-Bradford cannot find adequate housing in the surrounding communities and, therefore, demand housing on campus,” he said.

“Even after the new facility is built, we will have to continue to house students beyond the design capacity of existing housing facilities on our campus.”

Similarly, the on-campus population has outgrown UPB’s dining hall and kitchen that were designed to accommodate 800 students.

“Over 1,000 students now reside on campus and that number is expected to exceed 1,100 within the next year,” Alexander said.

The dining facility expansion would begin next summer with projected completion in spring 2018.


Also part of the non-E&G project construction budget:

• $5 million for Schenley Quad structural improvements, including repairs to the parking garage and plaza surface.

• $5 million for renovations that will make the Schenley Quad plaza more pedestrian friendly. Parking and vehicle access will be eliminated and pavers, benches and landscaping elements will be added, along with an ADA ramp to improve the Quad entrance to the William Pitt Union.

• $3.84 million for renovation and preservation of Pittsburgh campus auxiliary enterprises.

• $2.3 million for regional campus auxiliary/non-auxiliary projects at Pitt-Bradford and Pitt-Johnstown.

• $1.5 million to replace cooling towers at UPARC.

• $16.26 million for projects in the Health Sciences areas, including $5 million for renovation of Scaife Hall’s 4th floor student services and 5th floor lobby areas.


The FY17 E&G construction budget includes:

• $15 million in preservation, upgrades and utility infrastructure projects on the Pittsburgh campus.

• $6.87 million to cover additional costs of recreational playing fields at Trees Hall.

• $6 million to renovate the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid in Alumni Hall. The project includes renovation of the building lobby; interior renovations of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floor admissions department; upgrades to the 7th floor auditorium; and the creation of a new welcome center for prospective students.

• $4 million for philosophy department renovations on the Cathedral of Learning 10th and 11th floors.

• $3.5 million for communication department renovations on the Cathedral of Learning 14th floor.

• $3.45 million for preservation and programmatic projects on Pitt’s four regional campuses.

• $3 million for 1st and 2nd floor renovations at Barco Law.

• $2.4 million for programmatic renovations (excluding Health Sciences).

• $1.9 million for Thackeray Hall ground-3rd floor renovations.

• $1.61 million for Trees Hall varsity locker room renovations.

• $1.5 million for classroom renovations.

• $1.18 million for Petersen Events Center LED boards.

• Nearly $1.14 million for IT upgrades to campus buildings.

• Nearly $1.1 million for Trees Hall recreation locker room renovations.

• $911,306 for the Petersen Events Center main arena floor.

• $905,000 for general campus security upgrades.

• $725,000 for the Schools of the Health Sciences, including programmatic projects.

• $600,000 for Petersen Events Center general office renovations.

The FY17 capital budget is funded by $24.99 million in plant reserves; $11.86 million in auxiliary debt; nearly $24.54 million in auxiliary reserves; $15.69 million in senior vice chancellor, Health Sciences funds; $700,000 in commonwealth funding; and $32.26 million in gifts and other reserves.

Construction projects over $2 million also must be reviewed and approved by the board’s property and facilities committee.

—Kimberly K. Barlow 

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