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November 22, 2006

Trustees approve capital projects

The property and facilities committee of Pitt’s Board of Trustees last week approved more than $18 million in renovation projects at the Pittsburgh campus, $1.65 million for a new lecture hall at the Greensburg campus and several long-term leases.

The committee is authorized to oversee property transactions in excess of $500,000 and to approve University construction projects costing more than $1 million.

Pittsburgh campus projects include a $12.6 million renovation of the Litchfield Towers food-service area known as Eddie’s.

Renovations to the 44,000-square-foot space will support six new dining options for students. In addition, the area will include a new take-out facility, a convenience store and a Taco Bell. The dining room and seating areas also will be renovated.

The project will be funded with auxiliary reserves. The new facility is expected to be completed by the beginning of the 2007 fall term.

The committee also approved step one of a $2.2 million project to renovate more than 10,000 square feet of office space in Thomas Detre Hall’s 8th floor educational and research center wing, which will house an eating disorders center.

The renovation project includes installing an automated sprinkler and fire alarm systems, an HVAC system, radiant heating panels and direct digital controls, and upgrading mechanical and electrical systems.

Funding for the project will come from the commonwealth.

In addition, the property and facilities committee approved the first step of a $4 million project to improve the biocontainment barrier at the South Biomedical Science Tower. Renovations will include upgrades of HVAC controls and security and barrier enhancements.

The project’s funding will come from senior vice chancellor for Health Sciences reserves.

The trustees also approved construction of the Mary Lou Campana Lecture Hall, a 4,500-square-foot, $1.6 million facility for the Greensburg campus that will include a 172-seat theatre that also will be used for chapel ceremonies and lectures. The theatre will feature a sloped floor and elevated stage with lighting and sound systems, a lobby and a dressing room.

The facility will be named for Campana, whose donations created the Dr. and Mrs. Fred T. Campana Endowment at UPG.

Funding for the lecture hall will be provided by a $1 million gift from an anonymous donor, plus $650,000 from reserves. The annual operating cost including debt service of $36,000 will come from the educational and general operating budget.

The approved construction and renovation projects are expected to create 109 construction and 43 construction-support jobs, according to press materials distributed at the committee’s Nov. 16 meeting.

In addition, the trustees committee approved two leases between the University and UPMC Health System.

• The first is for approximately 19,000 square feet of clinical and office space for the Student Health Service in the Medical Arts Building. The lease runs through June 30, 2011, at an annual rent of $541,044, with prescribed annual increases of 1 percent effective July 1 of each lease year.

The lease will be funded by student health fees and revenues from pharmacy sales. Student Health Services has occupied the space since 2000.

• The second lease is for 37,101 square feet of research, clinical and office space in the Eye and Ear Institute Building for the School of Medicine’s departments of otolaryngology and ophthalmology. The lease runs through June 30, 2011, at an annual rent of $1,156,135, with prescribed annual increases of 1 percent. The departments have occupied that space since 1995. Funding for the lease will come from departmental funding sources.

The trustees also approved two other leases.

• The Graduate School of Public Health’s Department of Epidemiology’s lease for 16,209 square feet of space in the Bellefield Professional Building was extended through June 30, 2011.

The University’s lease, at an initial annual rent of $405,225 with prescribed annual increases, is with NDC Real Estate Management, Inc., agent for Webster Office Associates. Pitt also will pay a pro-rata share of real estate taxes, estimated at $40,000 annually, press materials stated.

Funding will come from departmental sources.

• The Department of Radiology in the School of Medicine will consolidate offices and laboratories in 5,679 square feet of space in the Parkvale Annex Building.

The lease between the University and Cityview Properties, LLC, runs from February 2007 through January 2012, at a fixed annual cost of $134,876, plus the University’s pro-rata share of real estate taxes, estimated at $14,200 annually, according to the press materials. Funding will come from departmental sources.

The landlord also has provided an improvement allowance equal to one year’s rent. The lease includes a five-year option through Jan. 31, 2017, and termination provisions at the end of years two and three.

—Peter Hart

Filed under: Feature,Volume 39 Issue 7

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