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October 1, 1998

Construction, renovation projects outlined

Following is a summary of recently completed and ongoing construction projects at Pitt. Information was provided by the Office of Facilities Management.

New construction and major additions/renovations Convocation Center This project is in the programming and schematic stages of design. The state appointed the firm of Rosser/Apostolou Associates to design the center. It is expected that the building will provide 12,500 seats for commencement, men's and women's basketball and other athletic and recreation events. The cost is expected to be $60 million, with $38 million provided by the state. The building is scheduled to open in October 2001. Cost Sports Center This project consists of replacement of the floor surface with a new artificial turf suitable for football practice, and soccer, volleyball and other intramural recreational activities. Cost is expected to be $626,500. Completion of the project is scheduled for mid-October.

Eberly Hall (formerly Alumni Hall) Design is complete for phase 1 of renovations, which will cost $6 million. Renovations will supply labs, offices and a classroom for the Department of Chemistry and improvements to the chemistry lab. Completion of phase 1 is scheduled for March 2000.

Fitzgerald Field House This project includes renovation of existing facilities and an addition to the building for locker rooms, team dressing rooms, and training and equipment rooms, primarily for women's sports. The addition is expected to improve the esthetics on the west side of the Field House facing the neighboring community. Green space along Darragh Street will be landscaped to provide an attractive gateway to the campus. The expected cost is $3.8 million. Completion of the project is scheduled for February 1999.

Masonic Temple Design work is nearly complete for this building, which will house the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, Governmental Relations, Center for Instructional Design and Distance Education, Alumni Relations, the Executive Education Program of the Katz Graduate School of Business and a large science lecture hall. Two minor additions will be required in the back of the structure to accommodate additional elevators. The project has been approved by the Historic Review Commission and the City Planning Commission. Some pre-construction work has begun. The project is expected to be completed by August 1999 at a cost of $16 million.

Mayflower, Forbes-Craig and Oakwood buildings Renovations and minor reconfigurations of some of the apartments in these student housing buildings to improve their appearance and space distribution were completed in August. Bathrooms, kitchens and fire alarms were upgraded and all the apartments were repainted. The total cost of renovating the three buildings was $1,482,000. Multi-Purpose Academic Complex Construction dates and costs have not yet been approved.

Pennsylvania Hall Work on interior salvaging has begun in preparation for a late-November demolition of the building. Costs estimates and a target date were not available for construction of a parking lot and tennis courts on the site. Playing fields This $1.25 million project includes construction of outdoor playing fields near the Towers View garage off Robinson Street for intramural sports, recreation and other physical activities. Dirt fields and the infield area of the baseball field are being retrofitted with an artificial turf surface. The fields will be lighted. Completion date is Oct. 4.

Student Housing Design work has been completed for the development of a 192-bed project in the area bounded by Oakland Avenue, Sennott Street and Bouquet Street. This is the first phase of a multi-phase program to provide garden-style apartment housing for undergraduates. Completion of the first phase is scheduled for August 1999, at a cost of $5.3 million. No groundbreaking date has been set. Upgrading facilities Completed classroom renovations include work at Benedum Hall auditorium, lecture halls 102 and 104 in Thaw Hall, and rooms 114 and 115 in Victoria Hall. Three classrooms on the 12th floor of Benedum Hall were combined into one classroom. New media closets and cabinets for audio/visual control were installed in A221 and A224 in Langley Hall.

An interactive classroom on the ground floor of Mervis Hall was completed in September.

These classroom renovations cost $2,046,000.

Other upgrades include starting construction to renovate space previously used as an animal facility on the second floor of Salk Hall. The space will accommodate a lounge, a study and a classroom for the School of Pharmacy and a sterilization facility for the School of Dental Medicine. Completion is scheduled for November at a cost of $325,000. A new physical fitness center is under construction in Tower A for Litchfield Towers residents. It is due to open in mid-October. The cost of this project is $120,000.

Preservation projects As part of a multi-year plan to improve elevators in the Pittsburgh campus's high-rise buildings, major work was done to the Cathedral of Learning, Thackeray Hall and Salk Hall elevators, as well as to Victoria Hall escalators. The first phase of refurbishing elevators in the Cathedral will continue until December. The total cost of the elevator upgrades will be $1.1 million.

The project to improve public areas of buildings and reduce energy consumption continued this summer. Work in corridors and lobbies was completed in Allen Hall, the Graduate School of Public Health, the Cathedral of Learning and Mervis Hall. Improvements included replacements of old ceilings and light, installation of energy-saving lighting fixtures, painting walls, doors and frames, floor replacement and installation of motion sensors to control lighting and save energy. Costs of these improvements was $225,000. The Gardner Steele Conference Center fascia and windows are being repaired and painted during the fall at a cost of $18,600.

Cleaning the stone walls and ceilings in the corridors and lobbies surrounding the Cathedral Commons Room is finished. Light fixtures will be cleaned and upgraded in the corridors of the second and third floors and the connecting stairways of the Cathedral. The cost of these improvements was not available.

Americans with Disability Act-related renovations A building entrance accessibility project for upgrading the entrances with automated doors and for meeting ADA regulations is underway at Alumni Hall, Benedum Hall, Benedum Auditorium, David Lawrence Hall, Falk School, the School of Law Building, Salk Hall, Salk Hall Annex, Space Resource Coordination Center and the Victoria Building. Some of the entrances are complete and others are nearing completion.

The restroom accessibility project is upgrading selected restrooms to ADA-compliant configurations equipped with fixtures, fittings and accessories. These restrooms are located (selectively) in the Cathedral of Learning, Fitzgerald Field House, Frick Fine Arts Building, Pitt Stadium, William Pitt Union, Thackeray Hall and Falk School. Work is expected to be completed this fall at a cost of $668,000.

A project providing accessibility to all floors of Thaw Hall via elevator is in the design phase. The elevator addition will be located on the west side of the building and will be constructed during summer 1999.

Building exteriors, landscaping and grounds improvements In conjunction with the yearly sidewalk replacement program this summer, openings have been provided and trees will be planted this fall along Thackeray Street in front of Benedum Hall and Thackeray Hall. Trees also will be planted along Forbes Avenue by Hillman Library.

Cost of these projects was not available.

Infrastructure upgrades and utilities projects This summer, the central chilled water system was extended under Fifth Avenue to provide chilled water to the Masonic Temple from the central plant located in Forbes Quadrangle. In the coming year, the system will be extended to the Clapp/Langley/Crawford halls complex, replacing outdated chilling equipment and providing additional cooling capacity. Cost of the project: $1.45 million.

Other projects completed or underway include replacement of several emergency generators and installation of a new campus-wide central security system and upgrade of the security lock system. Generators were replaced in Allen Hall, Crawford Hall, Lawrence Hall, Langley Hall, Thackeray Hall, Thaw Hall and the Space Resource Coordination Center. Total cost of these projects: $1.7 million.

All of the classrooms in the Cathedral of Learning had heating control valves serviced and made operable. In addition, 21 light-gray chalkboards are being replaced with darker surfaces to provide better legibility. The total cost will be approximately $400,000.

Regional campuses Bradford Phase 1 of the renovation of seven townhouses was completed in May. Mechanical systems were replaced with energy-efficient systems and air conditioning was added. Building interiors were refinished, walls were patched and a new floor covering was installed. Phase 2 of the renovations to update the exterior, add porches and re-roof the buildings has begun. The total cost of the project will be $2.5 million.

Bradford began implementing its five-year, $50 million campus expansion project with groundbreaking for a new sports complex in September. The building is expected to be completed September 2000. Greensburg Smith Hall renovations were completed in late-fall 1997, adding new biology labs and offices. The cost was $257,000.

Johnstown Renovations to the Engineering and Science Building were completed last fall. These included installation of energy-efficient electrical and HVAC systems and interior upgrades of laboratories, classrooms, offices and the auditorium. The total cost was $1.1 million.

Titusville The Broadhurst Science Center opened in January, housing biology, chemistry, geology, physics and computer laboratories, faculty offices, demonstration/lecture halls, one classroom with multi-media video capability and a 400-seat auditorium. The cost was $5.2 million.

Filed under: Feature,Volume 31 Issue 3

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