Board of Trustees committee approves three facility projects


Fifth floor of Posvar HallWork will get started this spring and summer on an addition to the Petersen Sports Complex and a renovation to the fifth floor of Posvar Hall, after the Pitt Board of Trustees Property and Facilities Committee approved the two projects on April 29.

The committee also approved funding for interior work to the newly constructed Murdoch Office Building on the corner of Forbes Avenue and Coltart Street, in which Pitt will be leasing 81,000 square feet. 

Work on the three projects will total $34.3 million.

Petersen Sports Complex

This $16.5 million project is the first from the Campus Master Plan to be approved.

The work will consolidate into one building the baseball, softball, men’s and women’s soccer, and newly formed women’s lacrosse teams and coaches. It also will provide additional space for locker rooms, restrooms and training, as well as room for sports medicine, nutrition services and equipment. 

Greg Scott, senior vice chancellor for business and operations, said work should start in July on this first part of the Victory Heights project. A third floor will be added to the existing building at Petersen Sports Complex and the first and second floors will be expanded, totaling 24,484 square feet of space.

Athletic Director Heather Lyke, who was at the committee meeting, has previously said that “We need to get competitive from a facility standpoint.” Getting the coaches out of the Fitzgerald Field House is “the first domino that needs to happen.” Under the master plan, the field house eventually will be torn down. 

Posvar Hall renovation

The fifth floor of Posvar is the home of the School of Education, but sometimes it’s hard to tell that.

The committee approved an $8 million renovation of 65,000 square feet on the fifth floor to create a more efficient floor design that fosters collaboration, while improving space usage and accommodating future growth. A new, clearly defined entrance to the School of Education also will be built.

Work should start this month, Scott said.

Murdoch Office Building

Work should begin immediately on the tenant improvements that Pitt wants on the Murdoch Office Building, on the western edge of the Pittsburgh campus.

Pitt has contracted to lease 81,000 of the building’s 95,000 square feet for $2.3 million annually. The first floor of the eight-story building is slated to be retail space. The committee had previously agreed to a 15-year lease of the space from building owner Murland Associates LP, with an estimated occupancy date of June 1, 2019.

Several University tenants will occupy the building, which plays into the Oakland Innovation District detailed in the master plan.

The work approved by the committee includes interior walls and finishes, HVAC and lighting, as well as information technology infrastructure at a cost of $9.8 million.

Susan Jones is editor of the University Times. Reach her at or 412-648-4294.