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April 19, 2001

CHANGING FACE OF THE UNIVERSITY: $200 million worth of capital projects are under construction, in design or out for bid

The University's major active capital projects total more than $200 million, according to the associate vice chancellor for Facilities Management. That estimate includes projects that are under construction, in the design phase or awaiting construction bids, said Ana Guzman.

In calendar year 2000, capital projects totaling more than $27 million were completed, she said. Guzman was reporting on the status of capital projects as of March 2001 to the University Senate's plant utilization and planning committee April 11.

Commenting generally on the capital projects, Guzman told the PUP committee that the University plans projects with an eye on saving energy. She said all new construction projects and most renovation projects include the installation of light sensors, designed to shut off power when no one is using a facility. Sensors usually pay for the cost of installation within five years by lowering utility costs, she said.

The University also has invested in expensive, but cost-efficient chilled water distribution systems. Guzman said a new chilled water system has been installed to provide better service to the Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH), Benedum Hall, Salk Hall and, eventually, to the Petersen Events Center, currently under construction. After the completion of the Petersen Center, set for early 2002, a new chilled water system is expected to be extended to Trees Hall and Fitzgerald Field House. The latter project has not been funded yet, she said.

The associate vice chancellor said energy-saving plans call for the entire Cathedral of Learning (CL) to be air conditioned. She said individual window air conditioners consume more power than would an internal system, eventually counter-balancing the initial installation expenses.

However, she stressed the project was a long-term plan that will need to be completed in several stages. During the current fiscal year, the state has released $5 million for installing air conditioning in classrooms on floors 1 through 3, which is scheduled to be completed within two years. "As the state releases money for this project, we'll do other parts of the Cathedral," Guzman said.

Guzman added that the Facilities Management division is creating a new unit to be called the mechanical maintenance and energy conservation group, which will oversee the division's building engineers. "As part of our energy conservation efforts, we needed to have someone to read utility meters and look into some other things, to monitor consumption of energy, for example, even on an hourly basis, and to see what the University uses is terms of steam, electricity and gas, and what are the peak times," she said.

q Following is a summary of capital projects is one of four stages: recently completed, in the bidding phase, under design or in the construction phase.

Recently completed capital projects over $100,000 include (total $27,733,000):

* Classroom and auditorium renovations ($2,258,000). These include Law Building rooms 107 and 109; Bellefield Hall auditorium; Benedum Hall green classroom, integrated curriculum classroom and computer lab; Frick Fine Arts rooms 202, 203 and 204.

* Other programmatic renovations or construction ($14,134,000). These include: Bouquet Gardens housing phase II; Salk Hall 6th floor renovations; Bellefield Hall swimming pool; Thackeray Hall ground floor and 1st floor; Stephen Foster Henry Heymann Theatre; Allen Hall ground floor laser lab; Cathedral of Leaning 26th and 27th floors renovations and financial information office relocation; Law Building Barco Library phase II renovations; Amos Hall fitness center construction; Clapp Hall rooms 101, 101A and 101B renovations, and Johnstown campus sports center addition.

* Preservation and upgrade projects (total $11,341,000). Included among preservation projects are: roof replacements ($882,000); exterior repairs/upgrades projects, including upper campus sidewalk repair and landscaping; CL sidewalk replacement, and general campus lighting improvement ($1,140,000); electrical, mechanical and fire protection projects, including steam line replacement on DeSoto Street; Lothrop Hall fire alarm and sprinkler system upgrade; Clapp, Langley, Crawford halls renovations and security upgrades; Craig Hall 1st floor electrical risers upgrade, general campus replacement of building automation systems/EMS ($8,490,000), and elevator upgrades ($829,000).

Active capital projects total $204,300,000. This includes projects that are in the bidding phase, under design or in the construction phase.

The general breakdown consists of:

* Commonwealth projects (those that have some portion of funding committed from the state) — $138,646,000.

* Classroom and auditorium renovations — $3,266,000.

* Programmatic renovations/construction — $34,305,000.

* Preservation projects — $28,083,000.

* Elevator upgrades — $1,372,000.

* Exterior repair and upgrades — $2,433,000.

* Interior renovations — $4,279,000.

* Roof replacements — $246,000.

* Electrical, mechanical, fire protection improvements — $19,753,000.

Among commonwealth projects are:

Under construction: the Petersen Events Center; the Multi-purpose Academic Complex; Eberly Hall renovations; steam distribution system.

In design: CL classrooms, floors 1-3 air conditioning; Bradford communications, arts and technology building.

Out for bids: Bradford campus sports center.

Programmatic renovations/construction projects include:

Under construction: Thomas Boulevard (Point Breeze) warehouse renovations; PNC Team Technology Center (Mervis Hall); CL office relocations and 17th floor renovations; Old Engineering Hall (OEH) 3rd floor instructional labs; campus police mini-station outpost (near Law Building); Public Health room G3 renovations, and three Greensburg campus projects: student housing phase II, natural sciences academic village and humanities building addition.

In design: McGowan Center renovations; Plum Borough animal facility renovations; CL 7th floor renovations; Information Sciences building miscellaneous renovations; Crawford Hall lab ventilation/HVAC upgrade; CL 7th floor renovations; CL 35th/36th floor, University Honors College renovations, and Music Building elevator addition.

In bidding phase: Hillman Library K. Leroy Irvis archives; William Pitt Union 5th floor renovations, and Johnstown campus student union dining renovations.

Classroom and auditorium renovations projects include:

Under construction: new Salk Hall classroom; OEH renovations; Posvar Hall 5th floor education school classrooms; CL 23rd floor classroom renovation; Posvar Hall CSSD computer lab renovations, and Victoria Building lecture room distance education equipment and furniture.

In bidding phase: Parran Hall classroom A115; Music Building classrooms; Posvar Hall 3rd floor public and international affairs classrooms; Ashe auditorium, Chevron Science Center, and regional campuses miscellaneous classroom renovations.

Preservation projects (total $28,083,000) include miscellaneous roof replacement projects ($246,000) and elevator upgrades ($1,372,000), both under construction, and exterior repairs ($2,433,000), interior repairs ($4,279,000) and electrical, mechanical and fire protection projects (total: $19,753,000).

Exterior repairs include: Under construction: Schenley Quad brick pointing and repairs; Ruskin Hall masonry replacement; general campus exterior signage, and Bradford's Tom L. McDowell Hall renovation.

Design phase: landscaping master plan development and Posvar Hall window gasket replacements. Window replacement in Thackeray Hall is in the bidding stage.

Interior renovation projects include:

Under construction: Holland Hall bathroom renovations; Bruce Hall interior renovations; miscellaneous general campus interior upgrades, and Johnstown campus Laurel Hall renovation.

Design phase: miscellaneous general campus restroom upgrades and Americans with Disabilities Act-related upgrades; Allegheny Observatory interior upgrades.

In the bidding phase is the Trees Hall pool area ceiling and lighting upgrades project.

Electrical, mechanical and fire protection projects include:

Under construction: CL fire protection phase II; PCB transformers replacements, general campus; Litchfield Towers light and receptacles upgrades; Posvar Hall fire alarm system replacement; Victoria Building air volume mixing boxes, and Johnstown campus central chillers replacement.

In design phase: general campus energy conservation projects; Posvar Hall new chiller installation; CL fire protection system phase III; general campus utilities and systems master plan development; extension of Victoria Building chilled water system to Biomedical Science Tower; general campus fire protection system phase II, and OEH power distribution panels.

Projects out for bids include fire alarm and protection system for Litchfield Towers and Forbes Residence Hall and main transformer replacement in Thackeray Hall.

–Peter Hart

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