Board committees approve increases to University debt limits


Thomas Yang | Assistant Visual Editor

At a public Thursday morning meeting, the budget and executive committees of Pitt’s Board of Trustees both approved measures making funds available for projects in the Campus Master Plan.

By Jon Moss, Assistant News Editor

At a public meeting in Posvar Hall Thursday morning, both the budget and executive committees of Pitt’s Board of Trustees approved several measures making funds available for some projects in the Campus Master Plan.

The committees authorized the University to issue up to $400 million in taxable bonds to help pay for three CMP projects — the new recreation center on O’Hara Street, additions and renovations to Scaife Hall and a new chilled water plant, to provide upgraded building cooling and ventilation capabilities, on upper campus near Sutherland Hall.

The committees also changed various provisions of Pitt’s “PANTHERS” tax-exempt bonds, which the University has occasionally used since 1999 to help fund capital projects. The committees increased the borrowing limit from $120 million to $600 million and the maximum maturity time from eight to 15 years.

When asked after the meeting, Greg Scott, Pitt’s senior vice chancellor for business and operations, said cost estimates for the recreation center were still being developed and not available yet to the public.

Scott also provided an update after the meeting about the University’s proposal to build a hotel and conference center on campus. Pitt sent a request for quotation to developers in late August with responses due on Nov. 15, exploring whether to build on the Thackeray Avenue parking lot next to the University Club and Thackeray Hall.

“We’ve got a number of developers that have visited the site and are putting together a proposal,” Scott said. “We’re hoping by the end of the year, early next year, we’ll be able to make some announcements about what our decisions are moving toward.”