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April 17, 2008

Trustees committee okays $120M in construction, renovations

The Pitt Board of Trustees property and facilities committee on April 14 approved a dozen construction and renovation projects totaling more than $120 million.

The largest project is the $64.3 million upgrade of Benedum Hall, which will add 27,000 square feet of space as well as new labs, classrooms and upgraded infrastructure for the Swanson School of Engineering.

The committee also approved $21.1 million for a 38,000-square-foot wing and renovations at Falk Laboratory School.

Also approved were:

• $6 million for upgrades to the chilled water plant in the Starzl Biomedical Science Tower;

• $1.2 million to install fire-suppression sprinklers on floors 12-23 of the Cathedral of Learning;

• Nearly $5.4 million to renovate the 14th floor of Chevron Science Center to create an organic chemistry research laboratory;

• $1.4 million for renovations to the courts and seating at Fitzgerald Field House and the creation of an NCAA-regulation volleyball court;

• Nearly $9 million for mechanical, electrical and plumbing infrastructure upgrades for Langley Hall, including energy conservation upgrades and renovation of the third floor into bioscience research laboratories;

• $2.3 million to renovate the third floor of Mervis Hall, creating new suites for administration and information technology services, and for the MBA program’s placement, admissions and career services departments;

• $3.25 million to renovate the Sutherland Hall food service area;

• $1.75 million to replace a steam line on Thackeray Street that will serve the new University Club and Benedum Hall;

• $2.6 million to upgrade infrastructure and renovate the sixth-floor inpatient unit at Thomas Detre Hall. The project will increase the capacity from 24 to 32 beds and increase the number of single rooms;

• $1.9 million to upgrade the Trees Hall pool to meet NCAA regulations. The project also will add a new diving board platform and railings and upgrades to the circulation, drainage and heating systems.

The committee also approved a four-year lease of 8,600 square feet from Magee Women’s Research Institute and Foundation to provide laboratory space for researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. The annual rental cost is $476,135 through May 31, 2012.

The construction and renovation projects are expected to create 629 construction and 252 construction-support jobs, and the University will pay business privilege taxes of $188,436 on the construction.

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