Pitt gets greenlight for multimillion dollar recreation center

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh’s Planning Commission approved the University of Pittsburgh’s proposal for a multimillion dollar recreation center this week.

The multilevel structure is set to be finished in fall 2024, and offer new amenities to students, staff and faculty members on O’Hara Street. It will replace a parking garage and research center that have already been demolished.

“I think it’s gonna be a good edition to the campus,” one student-athlete, Jonathan Bautista, told us.

The nine-story structure will offer fitness and wellness spaces, a pool, offices, locker rooms and food services. Landscaping and public art will adorn the building, which will be a green, solar-ready structure.

“I am excited to see Pitt create this beautiful greenway,” said Becky Mingo, City Planning Commission secretary.

“I’m happy that they’re trying to be more environmentally-friendly,” said sophomore Aedryss Benkrid.

Although the building replaces a parking garage, the latest design does not include any parking spots, a university spokesperson confirmed to Channel 11.

“Future campus development projects will address the spots that were lost when the garage was demolished,” the spokesman said.

Benkrid told us that his family lives internationally, and so having a vehicle is necessary. Parking on campus, he said, is a problem, and he’d like to see more spaces added versus being removed.

As the plan stands now, the center will only be available for the campus community.

A spokesman, however, told us that “conversations with our community partners are ongoing.”

The project is part of the school’s Institutional Master Plan.

In April of this year, the University of Pittsburgh Property and Facilities Committee authorized the building’s $255 million price tag.

“Project funding will be from a variety of sources, including but not limited to: donor opportunities, student health and wellness fees, and faculty and staff membership fees,” the university spokesman said.

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