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July 25, 2002

$76.9 million capital budget approved

$76.9 million capital budget is approved

Trustees have approved a Pitt capital budget that includes $76.9 million in construction, renovations, upgrades and preservation projects in Oakland and the University's regional campuses during the fiscal year that began July 1.

Of the budget total, 74 percent ($57.2 million) is expected to come from non-Pitt sources.

Major projects in the plan, which the trustees' budget and executive committees approved July 15, include:

* A $20 million addition to the Clapp/Langley/Crawford Hall complex, which the state is expected to fund. The 50,000 square foot addition will house biological sciences laboratories, neuroscience research programs and support areas such as cold rooms and computer areas.

* An $8.5 million, state-funded project to complete construction of the Bradford campus art and technology building.

* $6 million for dozens of University-funded Pittsburgh campus preservation projects, ranging from $35,000 for improving the Cathedral of Learning's steam distribution system to $780,000 for chiller plant upgrades in Posvar Hall.

* $5.1 million in state-funded renovations to Trees Hall and the Fitzgerald Field House for gymnastics and other athletic and recreation programs.

* $2.36 million for a continuing, state-funded upgrade of Pitt's information technology network.

Harrisburg has released funds for the Bradford, Trees/Fitzgerald and information technology projects. Lawmakers have approved funding the Clapp/Langley/Crawford addition but have not released the money yet.

Pitt's new capital budget also includes $20.3 million in non-educational and general construction projects in the Health Sciences, including equipment purchases, lab renovations and various upgrades. Of the total, $6.6 million will come from sponsored project funds and $4.25 million from the state, with the remainder to come from restricted and unrestricted funds in the senior vice chancellor for Health Sciences' budget.

This year's capital budget is $3.5 million less than last year's. Pitt officials called the new capital budget "modest" — appropriately so, they said, now that the Petersen Events Center and Sennott Square projects are winding down.

Following last week's trustees meetings, Chancellor Mark Nordenberg told reporters: "With the major projects of the recent past now coming to an end, we're pausing to catch our breath and, I guess, to replenish our bank accounts."

— Bruce Steele

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