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August 30, 2007

What's New? – Places

Following are some of the ongoing and recently completed construction and renovation projects on the Pittsburgh campus, based on information provided by the Office of Facilities Management.

Classroom Upgrades: The annual classroom improvement program resulted in physical renovations, technology upgrades and new furnishings for various classrooms in Langley Hall, Salk Hall, Clapp Hall, Allen Hall and the Cathedral of Learning. Project cost: $951,219.

Cathedral Preservation: Easily the most visible improvement to the campus is the Cathedral of Learning preservation project, which included cleaning the exterior of the University’s signature building of 70 years’ of soot and grime, along with replacing and restoring damaged stones and deteriorating mortar joints. Completion is scheduled for September. Project cost: $4.8 million.

Darragh Street Housing: Due to be completed in September, the new 184-bed, one- and two-bedroom efficiency apartments on Darragh Street will house medical students. Project cost: $18.2 million.

Hillman Library: Interior upgrades included painting and new carpeting and upgraded light fixtures in stairwells and lobbies. Project cost: $835,200.

Hillman Library Thornburgh Room: Construction of the Thornburgh Resource Center was completed. Project cost: $776,099.

Hillman Library plaza renovation: The existing plaza is being replaced with textured and multi-colored pavers, updated landscaping material and refurbished furniture. The resulting plaza will allow students and faculty to use this outdoor space, which previously was restricted due to deteriorated conditions. The plaza is scheduled to be completed in mid-September. Project cost: $2.5 million.

Litchfield Towers Food Court: The total renovation of the food service area of Litchfield Towers is now complete. This included installing seven food court serving areas with a range of food specialties, as well as more modern and aesthetically pleasing dining areas with new “window to the outside” skylights and lighting improvements. Project cost $9.78 million.

Pathways at “The Pete”: In order to improve access between the upper-campus residence halls and the Petersen Events Center, the staircase and pathways are being rebuilt. The two dirt pathways from the Petersen’s second and lower levels will be replaced with concrete walkways. The plaza outside the second-level entrance will be expanded to accommodate outdoor seating. The wooden staircase from the bowl to the access road and a new staircase leading to Pennsylvania Hall will be cast in concrete, as will the adjacent ADA ramp. The access road from Pennsylvania Hall to the existing staircase will be partially paved as well. Project cost: $564,000.

Sutherland Hall coffee bar: The lobby of Sutherland Hall is being renovated to include a coffee bar serving breakfast and lunch for residents, a lounge and a TV area. Renovations also include reconfiguration of the building’s mailroom and computer center. Project cost: $800,000.

Trees Hall facilities: The large gym’s wood floor was replaced with a new wood floor. The gym ceiling and the large pool were painted. Project cost: $369,677.

Trees Hall HVAC work: Construction of new HVAC systems serving the weight room, band room, multi-purpose room and dance studio has begun. Project cost: $499,910.

William Pitt Union: The 6th, 8th and basement floors of the union have been renovated for offices, student activity space, food service and recreational use. Project cost: $2.75 million.


The largest renovations of Parran and Crabtree halls in 40 years will commence this fall. The renovations of approximately 200,000 square feet of the buildings will focus on improving infrastructure, including upgrading the 34,000 square feet of laboratory space. The $37.5 million renovation project is expected to increase the usable amount of space in the two buildings by 10-15 percent.


At the Greensburg campus, completion of the 172-seat Mary Lou Campana Chapel and Lecture Center is expected in October.


The School of Pharmacy’s Drug Information Center, the Data Coordinating Center and the Pittsburgh Poison Center have moved into 10,570 square feet of newly renovated space in Birmingham Towers on the South Side.


Neuroscience faculty members Susan Sesack, J. Patrick Card, Linda Rinaman and Alan Sved have moved into new laboratories on the renovated 4th floor of Langley Hall. The floor also includes new common facility laboratory space for the Department of Neuroscience.


Computing labs in the Cathedral of Learning and Sutherland Hall have been renovated. In addition, new Windows computers have been installed in the Cathedral of Learning, Benedum Hall and Hillman Library labs. Additional printers have been installed at all seven lab locations.


The School of Dental Medicine’s Multidisciplinary Implant Center recently relocated to a newly renovated space on the first floor of Salk Hall Annex. The center has grown to 2,900 square feet with nine chairs including two full surgical suites.

The school’s new Center for Patients With Special Needs is being expanded to create a dedicated clinical space. Since the 1970s, patients with special needs from Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia have received treatment throughout various clinics within the school.

The center will train future dental professionals in best practices of dental care for patients with disabilities.


Magee-Womens Research Institute in June celebrated the grand opening of its $31 million expansion. The project added 70,000 square feet of office, laboratory, and support-services space, more than doubling the size of the institute.


UPMC’s new Children’s Hospital continues to take shape in Lawrenceville. The campus consists of the main hospital, a research building, plaza building, faculty pavilion, administrative building, parking garages and support space.

The hospital’s exterior is nearing completion and interior features such as elevators and heating/cooling systems are installed partially.

The hospital is scheduled for completion in 2009.


Construction began in July on a new residence hall at Pitt-Bradford. The building, as yet unnamed, will house 144 students in the campus’s apartment-style housing and will be similar in design to the Reed-Coit House, which opened in 2005. The $7.3 million project is expected to be opened in time for the fall 2008 semester. In the meantime, a housing shortage on campus means about 50 UPB students, along with a residence coordinator and two resident assistants, will be living in quarters leased by the campus at the Best Western Bradford Inn.

A number of professors at UPB also are starting the fall term in temporary quarters, as renovations of Swarts Hall continue. Classroom and office space is expected to be ready for the start of the spring term. Renovation of the Swarts Hall space that housed O’Kain Auditorium will be completed sometime in February. The space will become a dedicated nursing wing and house distance learning classrooms.


Zebrafish researcher Beth Roman of the Department of Biological Sciences has a new lab that opened in July and will be available to undergraduate students this fall. Roman studies the development of zebrafish vascular systems at the embryonic stage that result in circulation problems later in life. Her work is among the first to study how vascular problems form at the molecular level.


Renovation and expansion plans for Falk School are bringing changes to the K-8 school campus. To clear the way for construction, the Teacher Center building has been demolished and a temporary structure has been placed on the athletic field to house the library, a classroom and teacher workroom.

Groundbreaking for the addition is expected in October. The new building is to be completed in December 2008, followed by the renovation of the current facility, set to finish in July 2009. Enrollment of additional students will begin with the 2009-10 school year. At full capacity, the school will have increased from 275 to 410 students.


Landscaping projects continue at Pitt-Titusville. Among them is an upgrade to the Brown Street entrance that will make it match the rest of the campus.


The Cross-Cultural and Leadership Development Center, a newly created part of the Division of Student Affairs, is located on the 6th floor of the William Pitt Union.

The center houses a number of student organizations, including the Asian Student Alliance, Association of Chaplaincies, Black Action Society, Campus Women’s Organization, International Graduate Student Office, the Pan-Hellenic Council and Rainbow Alliance.

The Student Government Corridor, located on the 8th floor, recently was renovated. The corridor will house offices for various student government organizations and will include a conference room.

Career Services, located on the 2nd floor of the William Pitt Union, recently had office space renovated to include a new student lounge.

The Student Recreation Center also was renovated and is expected to open Sept. 1. It is located on the lower level in the WPU. This area will include the latest video games. It also will house a non-alcoholic bar and host jazz nights.

—Peter Hart & Kimberly K. Barlow

Filed under: Feature,Volume 40 Issue 1

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