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March 2, 2017

Regional buildings renamed

The Board of Trustees renamed three regional campus buildings at its Feb. 24 meeting.

Pitt-Bradford’s Seneca Building in downtown Bradford will be renamed Marilyn Horne Hall.

The Marilyn Horne Museum and Exhibit Center, which was approved by the board’s property and facilities committee last year, will open May 6 at the building. (See April 14 University Times.)

The opera star, a native of Bradford, has donated her collection of musical compositions and recordings, photographs, costumes and posters to the Bradford campus. Portions of the Horne collection will be on display at the museum.

The museum’s opening will coincide with the christening of the building as the Marilyn Horne Hall, UPB President Livingston Alexander said.

In addition to the new museum, the ground floor will house a gift shop, café, meeting space and new offices for the Bradford Creative and Performing Arts Center.

Upper floors are occupied by Pitt-Bradford’s Division of Continuing Education and Regional Development, its Center for Rural Health, and private tenants.


The board also took action to name Pitt-Johnstown’s Engineering and Science Building the John P. Murtha Engineering and Science Building and officially named the John P. Murtha Center for Public Service and National Competitiveness, which will open in April.

Budget committee report
The University has completed the first phase of its plan to re-fund a significant part of its debt by issuing taxable bonds.

The action, affecting about 60 percent of Pitt’s outstanding bonds, resulted in an interest rate reduction of 1.64 percentage points, saving the University approximately $23 million in principal and interest, budget committee chair Herbert Shear told the board.

In the first phase, in January, the University refinanced its Series 2000, 2002 and 2009 tax-exempt bonds by issuing $512 million in taxable bonds. Another 30 percent of Pitt’s tax-exempt bonds are to be refinanced in a second phase, Shear said. The University intends to refinance the Series 2005 and 2007 tax-exempt bonds with a combination of fixed- and variable-rate taxable bonds between March and May. The remaining 10 percent of the debt portfolio is unaffected.

“Due to limitations associated with the 2024 call date on the Series 2014 bonds, it is unlikely that an advance re-funding will occur any time soon,” Shear said.

The Board of Trustees budget and executive committees in December authorized the issuance of taxable bonds to re-fund the University’s current tax-exempt debt portfolio. (See Dec. 8 University Times.)


In other business:
On the recommendation of its budget committee, the board approved an $11.87 million increase to the fiscal year 2017 capital budget to cover an additional $750,000 for the Cathedral of Learning 14th floor renovation project, $2.7 million for Barco Law Building renovations, $1.27 million for construction of a residence hall at Pitt-Bradford and $7.15 million for the acquisition of the Forbes-Atwood Building.

The board’s property and facilities committee approved these projects in meetings earlier this year. (See related story this page, and Jan. 5 University Times.)

These additions will bring the University’s 2017 capital budget to approximately $122 million.

—Katie Fike and Kimberly K. Barlow


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