Pitt’s Board of Trustees approves money for renovations

By Dale Shoemaker / News Editor

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At a public meeting Tuesday, the Property and Facilities Committee of Pitt’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved $34.7 million for seven renovation projects at three of its campuses, and said it would renew the leases for four properties in Oakland.

Among the projects are plans for a $5.7 million museum and exhibit for the renowned opera singer Marilyn Horne at Pitt’s Bradford campus. Pitt will display Horne’s musical compositions, recordings, photographs, costumes and posters in the Seneca Building on Bradford’s campus. Horne, who is a native of Bradford, is donating her archives to the University.

Through a grant it received from the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, the McKean County Industrial Development Authority is providing Pitt with $3 million of the funding. The finished project will include classroom space, a recital area and a cafe, along with building-infrastructure upgrades to the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

Additional projects the committee approved include $4.5 million in renovations and mechanical upgrades for the 12th floor of the Cathedral of Learning, $2.8 million in upgrades to the Chevron Science Center electrical substation and $5.3 million for interior renovations, mechanical upgrades and a new synthetic turf floor for the Cost Sports Center.

The committee also approved $6.5 million to renovate the College Park Apartments on Pitt’s Johnstown campus, $2.6 million for exterior and roof renovations to the Space Research Coordination Center and $7.2 million for renovations of the 10th floor of the Thomas E. Starzl Biomedical Science Tower for the Department of Immunology.

Among the leases the committee approved is a three-year extension for the Graduate School of Public Health at the Pittsburgh Technology Center for office and lab space. The lease runs through September 2019 and will cost about $3.5 million over the term of the contract.

Other leases include a five-year lease for office space for the provost’s office on Meyran Avenue, a 10-year lease for the School of Medicine in the Schenley Place building on Bayard Street and a 10-year lease for the Graduate School of Public Health, also in the Schenley Place building. Together, these leases will cost Pitt more than $10 million.

According to Pitt spokesperson Ken Service, the money for the renovation projects and leases comes from the University’s capital budget, which was not affected by the state’s budget impasse that ended last week.

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