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September 12, 1996


Statement in story disputed

To the editor:

The comment attributed to me in Bruce Steele's article about the report "New building, renovation plan proposed for campus" [University Times Aug. 29, 1996] regarding expectations of "little if any resistance to the capital plan from city officials or Oakland residents…" is a statement which I would not and, in fact, did not make. Indeed, early in the interview Mr. Steele asked me to describe the community reaction to the report and I pointedly declined to do so. I did suggest that he contact Oakland community leaders for such reactions and provided the names of several. Late that day, my office provided Mr. Steele with the home telephone number of the chairman of the Oakland Community Council (OCC). Since the release of the report to the OCC on Aug. 5, we have had no discussions with city officials on the document or its contents, which makes the reference to my expectations of city officials even more curious.

Why Mr. Steele would attribute an opinion to me which I had in no way expressed is perplexing. However, my main concern is that your readers clearly understand that I did not make any comments to the Univeristy Times regarding the possible reaction of city officials or community residents to this report.

Dennis P. McManus

Assistant Vice Chancellor Governmental Relations


Bruce Steele responds:

During our interview and a phone discussion that preceded it, McManus noted that the draft Capital Planning Committee report makes a number of recommendations that, if implemented, would be less intrusive on the Oakland community than the Pitt master space plan accepted by the City Planning Commission last fall. The new plan emphasizes renovating existing buildings rather than constructing new ones, for example, and it outlines a strategy for encouraging more undergraduates to live in University residence halls rather than private apartments. According to my notes from our telephone discussion, McManus stressed that he could not speak for Oakland residents or city officials but said that he did not expect much opposition to a plan that addresses long-standing community concerns about Pitt physical space plans.

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