By DONOVAN HARRELL
After months of meetings and drafts, the official Campus Master Plan was release last week, It outlines many of Pitt’s plans for future infrastructure, expansions, parking and transportation and more.
Pitt’s 30-year institutional plans were previously outlined in the draft master plan from the Office of Facilities Management and reported on in detail in the University Times, but the final plan has some details that weren’t previously reported or that you may have missed.
Parking and Transportation
In the past, faculty and staff have frequently voiced concerns with parking availability on the Oakland campus.
The Campus Master Plan outlines short-term solutions to address the potential loss of 2,000 parking spaces due to the redevelopments.
These plans include:
Finding “core” parking locations throughout Greater Oakland that can be acquired through leases and partnerships.
Making temporary parking facilities that can be converted to other uses in the future.
Decreasing parking permits available to students who live on campus.
Encouraging Pitt employees with permits to participate in an incentive program if they switch to Park and Ride options, paired with Port Authority efforts to make direct routes to Oakland from certain Park and Ride locations.
As for longer term parking options, the plan acknowledges that land values in Central Oakland are increasing and that the University has made a push to promote sustainable transportation options.
These long-term plans include:
Providing a “core” parking supply that would accommodate daytime visitor parking, some core faculty and staff parking and some limited student parking. To determine the “core” need, the plan says, the University needs to balance risks of oversupplying and undersupplying parking. Oversupplying would be a financially and physically “inefficient” while undersupplying without alternatives would push commuters to park in the surrounding neighborhoods.
Increasing parking fees to be more in line with market rates for Central and North Oakland.
Improving park and ride options by promoting current and under-utilized spaces. The plan suggests that Pitt work with Port Authority to create more direct-to-Oakland routes and park and ride spaces. Pitt could also find partnerships to develop “mixed-used multimodal hubs” at certain locations.
In addition, a parking garage with 1,000 spaces could be built between the Falk School and the Fraternity Housing Complex. The garage would replace an existing lot and the basketball courts next to the Falk School.
Alumni Hall: Pitt Admissions offices will be combined on the fifth floor of the building and will be “transformed to provide an impactful experience for the first-time visitor to Pitt.”
Bellefield Hall: The plan suggests that the building become the main home for the Department of Music. Former recreational spaces would be converted to practice and recital spaces.
Cathedral of Learning: Floor-by-floor renovations will continue for the building to update its infrastructure, classroom and office modernization and energy efficiency.
Chevron Science Center: The chemistry facilities will see renovations on each floor over time, to improve its infrastructure, energy efficiency and office modernization.
Crawford Hall: “Significant renovation” is planned to its mechanical, electrical and plumbing infrastructure. The interior of the building also will see some renovations.
Forbes Tower: The School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences will have some renovated leased spaces in this building, which is owned by UPMC. There are long-term plans for the school to eventually relocate to a Pitt-owned building.
Hillman Library: Renovations will continue for the library to make it more “collaboration focused.”
Litchfield Towers: The plan proposes a “de-densification” of student spaces for the Towers, which will include a lounge/study space on each floor and modifications to the bathrooms to allow for more privacy. There also will be a “stabilized” bed count to include 32 residents and an RA on most floors.
Posvar Hall: There are improvements planned for the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, the School of Social Work, Behavioral Lab and University Center for International Studies. The buildings ground floor will see improved learning commons and open study spaces.
Salk Hall: The Salk Annex could be “phased” with the renovation with Salk Hall, the plan says. The School of Dental Medicine may be moved to a new facility closer to the other medical sciences schools.
Sennott Square: Plans call for the Department of Psychology to be on the fourth floor while the College of Business Administration expands to the third floor, after the School of Computing and Information has relocated to the new One Bigelow building. Departmental floors will have improved “daylight and views” with more collaborative spaces.
Thackeray Hall: The building will house student services including the registrar, the Student Payment Center, student accounting and billing, collections, financial aid and advising.
William Pitt Union: The plan suggests renovations “to better accommodate” student spaces and public rooms on the ground floor.
Frick Fine Arts Building: The plan says the building struggles with overcrowding and “insufficient” studio space for the Department of Studio Arts, History of Art and Architecture and the University Arts Gallery. A new expansion to the studio, which is located south of the building, would offer more office space, more daylight for studio spaces and more space for the University’s permanent art collection.
Posvar Hall: More classrooms and administrative spaces are planned for social sciences programs, especially in the School of Education. This expansion could be placed in the western facade of Posvar Hall, replacing its “under-utilized” hard-scaped plaza.
Space Research and Coordination Center: The plan admits that this center is in “poor” condition with an “inefficient footprint.” A newer, larger facility could house the Physics, Astronomy, Geology and Planetary Science subjects in one place.
RA Lot/Music Building site: A new housing facility with a garage will replace the Ruskin Hall lot, according to the plan. The ground floor of the new building could also hold retail or dining spaces for students. The plan notes that “special care should be taken to retain all or part of the Music Building, a contributing property to the Schenley Farms Historic District.”
PNC Bank: The plan suggests that the PNC bank location on Fifth Avenue and Craig Street could be replaced with a housing facility.
The plan also details the three different phases of implementation — those projects likely to be completed in the next seven years, eight to 15 years and those that are more than 15 years away. The charts also identify “enabling projects” that need to happen before the rebuilding/updating can take place.
PHASE 1 — one to seven years
PHASE 2 — eight to 15 years
PHASE 3 — 15+ years
Donovan Harrell is a writer for the University Times. Reach him at email@example.com or 412-383-9905.