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March 6, 2014

CL elevator, Clapp Hall projects okayed

elevatorsIn a bid to make Cathedral of Learning elevators more efficient, the Board of Trustees property and facilities committee has authorized $10.44 million in elevator upgrades as part of $58.9 million in campus improvements approved yesterday.

The Cathedral of Learning’s original elevator system was installed in 1931 and underwent upgrades in 1971 and 1998, according to project documents.

The improvements will include a computerized destination-based dispatch system and the reopening of some closed elevator doors to provide greater coverage to more floors.

The new system is expected to cut wait times, reduce ground floor and first floor congestion, save energy and improve reliability.

The project is currently in the design phase with no date set for the start of the work, said John Fedele, senior associate director of News.

The committee also approved:

• $34 million to renovate Clapp Hall. The project includes new labs, classrooms, offices and support areas, and new mechanical, electrical, plumbing, telecommunications and fire suppression systems inside. The building also will get a new roof, doors and windows and the exterior masonry will be repointed. The project is expected to earn LEED silver certification.

• $5.5 million to renovate the 13th floor laboratory in Chevron Science Center for synthetic organic chemistry and chemical molecular biology research teams. The new design will be similar to lab renovations done on the 5th and 14th floors.

• $5.06 million to upgrade cooling and electrical systems at the Network Operations Center in O’Hara Township. The project will quadruple the capacity of the NOC to support University computer server clusters, said Executive Vice Chancellor Jerome Cochran.

• $3.9 million to install a helium recovery system in the mid-campus complex. Helium from labs in Old Engineering Hall, the Nuclear Physics Laboratory and Allen Hall will be recovered in Old Engineering Hall and an addition will be built in the Nuclear Physics Laboratory courtyard to house helium cleaning and liquefaction equipment. The recovery system will conserve helium, which is used as a cryogenic in Pitt nanoscience laboratories.

The committee also authorized the lease of 31,557 square feet of classroom and office space at Bridgeside Point I in the Pittsburgh Technology Center, starting May 1, for the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Department of Physical Therapy. Cost of the space, which initially will be subleased from Fisher Scientific International, is estimated at $5.475 million over the seven-year, five-month term that ends in September 2021.

—Kimberly K. Barlow