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PENNSYLVANIA AND PITT TO INVEST $139.7 MILLION ON CONSTRUCTION AND RENOVATION PROJECTS

 PENNSYLVANIA AND PITT TO INVEST $139.7 MILLION
 ON CONSTRUCTION AND RENOVATION PROJECTS
 'Operation Jump Start' will stimulate economy, create jobs
 PITTSBURGH, Oct. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The University of Pittsburgh has received $69.1 million from Gov. Robert P. Casey's "Operation Jump Start" and will utilize another $70.6 million in university funds to carry out a major five-year building construction and renovation program at its Oakland campus and at three regional campuses, the largest capital undertaking of its kind in Pitt history since the construction of the Cathedral of Learning, it was announced today.
 "We are pleased to participate in Gov. Casey's Operation Jump Start, and grateful to the governor and the General Assembly for providing this opportunity," said Pitt Chancellor J. Dennis O'Connor. "This forward-looking initiative represents a significant investment in our university's infrastructure and our total learning environment. In many ways, this new program will advance the quality of education and the health of our economy here in western Pennsylvania for decades to come."
 In all, nine buildings will either be built or updated, with the design phase expected to begin late this year or in early 1993. In addition, many more buildings on the Oakland campus will have their existing fire safety and personal security systems modernized with contemporary equipment.
 "This is a great opportunity for Pitt to significantly improve its facilities. We will take full advantage of it within the guidelines of prudent fiscal management," said Ben Tuchi, Pitt's senior vice chancellor for business and finance. "We will proceed with great care and with full consultations with our faculty, students, staff, and our Oakland neighbors in the community.
 "Until now, many of the university's capital projects could only be discussed in general terms. The specific funding commitments made by the state permit a planning process to proceed in earnest."
 These projects are:
 -- A $19 million library addition for more shelf space, reading and study areas, and auxiliary space.
 -- A $28 million multi-purpose academic complex of classrooms, labs and offices located on a two-site area bounded by Forbes Avenue, Oakland Avenue, Bouquet Street and Sennott Street, with the second part bounded by Sennott Street, Oakland Avenue, Bouquet Street and private property to the south.
 -- A $5 million upgrade of safety systems at various buildings throughout the campus, including new automatic fire alarms, sprinkler and emergency generating systems, and a modernized central security system.
 -- A new $6.6 million library and administration building at Pitt's regional campus in Greensburg, Pa.
 -- A $1.3 million renovation of the Engineering and Science Building at Pitt's regional campus in Johnstown, Pa., including upgrades of mechanical and electrical systems and labs, and to improve its overall functionality and energy efficiency.
 -- A $1.8 million renovation of Smith Hall at the Greensburg campus, including a revamped auditorium, new roof and fascia panels, and upgraded mechanical and electrical systems.
 -- A new $5 million science building at Pitt's regional campus in Titusville, Pa., that will house chemistry, biology, and physics classrooms and labs, a lecture hall, and faculty and administrative offices.
 -- An $8 million renovation of Bellefield Annex, formerly the Jewish Community Center, on Bellefield Street directly across from Heinz Chapel. Built in 1927, the building will house academic and support programs.
 -- A $35 million, 12,000-seat multi-use convocation center at an as yet unspecified location in Oakland that will be used for basketball and other events, such as annual commencement exercises, concerts, and stage productions.
 -- A $30 million clinic and office complex for Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, including related parking.
 "Operation Jump Start" is a $2 billion statewide investment program begun last year by Casey to stimulate the state economy and create an estimated 34,000 new jobs.
 "The simple reality is that, here in Pennsylvania, we haven't been sitting around waiting for Washington to put the nation back on the right track. We've started our own counter-cyclical economic and infrastructure investment program," Casey said recently in describing the program.
 He added, "We're the textbook example of what a government can and should do when the national economy goes sour. We invest. The good news is Operation Jump Start. That's what we call our program to speed up construction projects that will create the kinds of jobs we need to help get us out of this recession."
 Operation Jump Start includes $1 billion in state and federal funds for highway and bridge construction, $132 million for mass transit, $675 million for building construction and improvement projects, and $167 million for clean water projects.
 /delval/
 -0- 10/9/92
 /CONTACT: Bob Reteshka of University of Pittsburgh, 412-624-4007/ CO: University of Pittsburgh; Pennsylvania Gov. Robert Casey's Office ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:


DM -- PG003 -- 8257 10/09/92 10:06 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 9, 1992
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