First groundbreaking of the leisure center planned for September | University time

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At a meeting in April, the property and facilities committee of the board approved $255 million for the campus recreation and wellness center, $154 million for construction of the core and the shell of a building on Fifth and Halket streets, and $17 million to acquire the Strand Building on Forbes Avenue.

Committee Chairman Louis Cestello reported on these measures at the June Board meeting.

Groundbreaking is scheduled for September 29 for the nine-story recreation center on O’Hara Street and it is expected to be completed by fall 2024. The facility will include gymnasiums, fitness areas , an aquatic center, jogging track, specialized activity spaces, dining facilities and space for a future wellness suite.

Money for the Fifth and Halket Street building will be used to construct the core and shell of the 306,000 square foot structure. Pitt acquired the property from Shadyside-based developer Walnut Capital in December 2021 for $19.5 million.

The interior design of the 10-story building will come later and will be “designed to provide the flexibility to meet the needs of multiple university programs envisioned for the building,” Cestello said. Money for these projects will be approved by the committee at a later date. The space will be used for laboratories, classrooms, offices, retail and support spaces. as well as parking on the lower level and part of the ground floor.

He said the two projects are expected to generate 2,167 construction jobs and 867 support jobs.

The five-story Strand Building, at 3607 at 3611 Forbes Ave., has 39,000 square feet. It includes commercial space on the first floor, currently occupied by Golden Palace Buffet and SuperCuts, offices above and 20 residential apartments.

Much of the office space is already occupied by the School of Medicine, including the Center for Health Care Research.

At the April meeting, David DeJong, senior vice chancellor for business and operations, said the building is in “a strategic location in the heart of Oakland and aligns with the company’s real estate strategy. university”.

The committee approved the acquisition of this property at a purchase price of $17 million plus closing costs of approximately $925,000 pending final due diligence.

—Susan Jones

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