Pitt Master Plan

Discussion in 'Football Board' started by pittchagg, Sep 28, 2018.

  1. pittchagg

    pittchagg Scholarship
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    Looks like Pitt has released the draft of its new master plan: https://www.campusplan.pitt.edu/

    There's a lot to unpack, but it looks like there are a few items of particular note that the board might find interesting. Victory Heights is specifically referenced in the plan, and it looks like the outdoor track proposal where the sports dome is currently located is still on the table. The University plan calls for a new student recreation facility to be built on O'Hara next to Western Psych, so it appears that they'd build that facility and would no longer need the sports dome, freeing up room for an outdoor track. My read on the renderings would appear to show that they plan to build a large indoor facility as part of Trees Hall, and knock down a significant part of the Cost Center in favor of a large new athletics facility (which presumably would include an indoor track, sports medicine and weight training facilities) on the footprint of the Cost Center and OC lot.

    Outside of athletics, there's also a lot of attention dedicated to a "One Bigelow" plan on the Syria Mosque lot - it appears to be an academic building that would probably represent among the larger new academic construction projects in some time. There also appear to be plans for several new dorm facilities, a new academic support facility between Hillman and Lawrence, and significant renovations to Crabtree Hall and a few other academic buildings.
     
  2. ClarkLotTgate

    ClarkLotTgate Freshman
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    3....2.....1..... waiting for the freak out from the “on campus stadium or bust” crew
     
  3. pittdan77

    pittdan77 Heisman Candidate
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    It hangs out over the street or something.
     
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  4. Sean Miller Fan

    Sean Miller Fan All P I T T !
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    No stadium. Pitt cannot expect to be anything in football without a right-size stadium (doesn't necessarily have to be on-campud).

    To me, the volleyball/wrestling arena looks like its going on the site of the non-swimming part of Trees. Looks like that part of Trees will be torn down for it. On the site of the OC Lot/Cost Center will be the "Human Performance Center." That is in the mid-term plan while the volleyball arena and improvements to the Petersen Sports Complex are in the short-term plan.
     
  5. HailtoPitt

    HailtoPitt Athletic Director
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    If Pitt were planning a stadium, they would have to do it just like this. If anything this plan proves that there is space for a stadium, but Pitt chose other priorities.

    Anyway, a stadium would take vision, investment and cajones. Things Pitt has proven to lack when it comes to football.

    I am curious about some of the stuff proposed up beyond the Pete, like the performance center and track. We have heard on here over the years that this location would be improbable and expensive to build on.
     
  6. TIGER-PAUL

    TIGER-PAUL Head Coach
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    Wait, converting the old baseball field to the sports dome cost about 13m I thought?
     
  7. ThePanthers

    ThePanthers Head Coach
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    Thanks for posting! Looks like some overall campus improvements on it's way.
     
  8. Panther_in_Kentucky

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    No it doesn't. Pitt's Administration sucks.
     
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  9. pittdan77

    pittdan77 Heisman Candidate
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    You just made an argument for adding end zone seating and a sky box to Woodland Hill's stadium.
     
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  10. pittchagg

    pittchagg Scholarship
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    It did, but off the top of my head I don't know the cost breakdown between the actual dome itself (which would obviously be removed) and any site-related work like grading or construction of retaining walls that could still be helpful if you modify the site for a different use.

    In any case, what's more important is Pitt doing the best thing for the school and athletic department long-term, rather than sitting on a sports dome because of its initial cost even though it isn't the best use for the space.
     
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  11. Fsgolfdr

    Fsgolfdr Heisman Candidate
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    Why would Pitt invest several hundred millions of dollars into a stadium when the only large crowds they get are when they play PSU or ND ?
    Pitt will not be a better program until they invest in better coaches and players .
     
  12. HailtoPitt

    HailtoPitt Athletic Director
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    Then no school with less attendance than Pitt should ever build a new stadium.
     
  13. pittchagg

    pittchagg Scholarship
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    On a second look, I agree. And it makes sense - the massive new student recreation facility probably removes the need for the various student rec facilities currently housed in the non-pool wing of Trees Hall, so that area (and really the whole building) can be repurposed exclusively for intercollegiate athletics. I wonder if we'll see the student fitness center in the Petersen Events Center eventually be repurposed into athletic department space (an expanded basketball practice facility?) too.

    If I were to guess, we'll see soccer, baseball, and softball move completely into the Petersen Sports Complex, Swimming/Diving, Gymnastics, Wrestling, and Volleyball in Trees Hall, basketball and the core athletics administration in the Pete, and Track, XC, Tennis (?) sports medicine, and strength and conditioning in the new building on the OC lot. It looks like part of the Cost Center will remain, so I would suspect we'll see some kind of combination of an indoor track and an indoor turf olympic sport practice facility
     
  14. bwh05

    bwh05 Senior
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    Baseball, Softball and the Soccers are moving into the PSC when the addition of the 3rd floor which starts this summer is completed in about 2 years. The Victory Heights project includes an arena for Gymnastics, Volleyball and Wrestling so that's where their headed, not the Pete. Track and Tennis are TBD at this point due to some different factors.
     
  15. ThePanthers

    ThePanthers Head Coach
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    And note, this is a long term Plan, which overall may take a decade or so. There is a ton of work to be done. This is not going to happen over night.
     
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  16. HailtoPitt

    HailtoPitt Athletic Director
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    I'm taking bets on the number of words in Paco's reply. Over/under is 26,350.
     
  17. paulbl99

    paulbl99 Board of Trustee
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    No it doesn’t

    Unless Pitt would plan on building a FB Field in 3 or 4 separate sections.
     
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  18. McKee Place

    McKee Place Junior
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    But how many "placed on ignores" after the replies? :D
     
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  19. HailToPitt725

    HailToPitt725 Sophomore
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    Wow, this is pretty cool. Lots to unload, like the OP said. Victory Heights looks nice, love how everything is connected. Wonder if this will add much parking. I’m assuming the Pete additions are for the ACC Network studios.

    My two questions.
    - Is there going to be anything new with the Pete lawn, other than renaming it Victory Lawn? Are they going to use it more often now? Is it going to turn into the amphitheater that was proposed a while back?
    - Why spend $13m+ on the Pitt Sports Dome when they’re going to be building an outdoor track there (I’m assuming it’ll just be a practice track and not host anything because of the prior concerns)? Was it just such a pressing need that they were willing to commit that type of money for a short-term facility? It seems like it becomes obsolete now with the new student rec center and indoor field as part of the plan, making it more likely that a track goes there.

    @CrazyPaco @bwh05 any thoughts/insight on this?
     
  20. pittguy81

    pittguy81 All Conference
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    In a land scare environment it makes zero sense to spend hundreds of millions to build something which has a significant footprint and is used, at most, 7 times a year.
     
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  21. HailtoPitt

    HailtoPitt Athletic Director
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    What about in a non land scarce environment? Is it ok then?
     
  22. pittguy81

    pittguy81 All Conference
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    Moot point. I prefer to deal with the situation at hand.
     
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  23. Delpanther

    Delpanther Board of Trustee
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    Victory lawn ... cute....can we beat anyone .... at anything.
     
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  24. HailToPitt725

    HailToPitt725 Sophomore
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    Volleyball is looking like it can beat anyone this year. That’s a start at least.
     
  25. Fsgolfdr

    Fsgolfdr Heisman Candidate
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    Yes , unless a Boone Pickins type is writing the check . A stadium isn't going to transform Pitt fb a winning program , a great coach with great players will !
     
  26. HOF Coach

    HOF Coach Assistant Coach
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    Since it is a privately funded and independent project, the plans for "Bezos Stadium" is not included in this Pitt Master Plan.
     
  27. CrazyPaco

    CrazyPaco Head Coach
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    Yes, it looks like they are planning something for the south corner of the Pete Lawn that is slated for athletics purposes.

    An inflatable dome, by its very nature, is intended to be a stop gap. $13m is nothing for an athletics facility. The track looks like it is in their long-term phase plans, so it may be around for awhile.
     
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  28. bwh05

    bwh05 Senior
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    They’ve kicked around different options for the lawn but it will remain green space in the near future. They’ve looked at putting a parking garage, tennis courts, a student Rec center, etc but nothing ever comes of it. They’ve also talked about an athlete cafeteria & academic support building where the panther statue is. I doubt anything ends up there.

    The decision to us that space to build the dome was under a different regime. All I can say is that there have been so many different facilities master plans in the last 3 years it would make your head spin. All I can say for sure is that they’re going to build the 3rd floor on the PSC starting the spring and finishing next spring. Then the volleyball, gymnastics & wrestling faculty is next. What happens after that is TBD.
     
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  29. King Of All Message Boards

    King Of All Message Boards Heisman Candidate
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    And frisbee
     
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  30. Panther_in_Kentucky

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    I thought the same thing. Lawn of Losers at least would have had alliteration going for it.
     
  31. CrazyPaco

    CrazyPaco Head Coach
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    So there are some MAJOR changes and I have some BIG concerns about historically significant buildings, but also some exciting things. But these plans are also very vague. Except for the "Innovation District stuff, they also detail zero additional land acquisitions (which is probably a smart thing).

    Below are the major changes that I see. The first three are very troubling.

    Absolutely idiotic if true:
    • The 1884 Richardsonian Romanesque Music Building by Longfellow, Alden & Harlow, the oldest structure on Pitt's campus, looks like it is to be replaced. This is the former William Jacob Holland house, a renown zoologist and former Chancellor of the university, and the original studio for WQED and Mr. Rogers'. A Schenley Farms Historic District Contributing Property, this is simply an unacceptable, contemptible loss. Hopefully they are just building around it (they have the entire parking lot there to build on). Build around it, or even get rid of the 1950s addition, fine, but hopefully this gets nominated for historic protective status or the city's historic review commission blocks it. Just so stupid.
    • The O'Hara Student Center, formerly the Concordia Club, looks like it is being torn down. This is a 1913 Romanesque Revival building by Charles Bickel and is also a Schenley Farms Historic District Contributing Property and an absolutely unacceptable loss. Just 7 years ago Pitt put a lot of money and care into the restoration and preservation of the interior of the building, which contains chandeliered ball rooms and beautiful deep oak paneling. A giant WTF to the planners on this one and hopefully the city never lets this get touched. Historic societies need to draw up the nominations for protective status.
    • In the same horrendous destruction plan along O'Hara St, the Gardner Steel Conference Center also looks slated for destruction. This 1911 early modernist Kiehnel and Elliot structure features Art Deco detailing. It was originally the Central Turnverein, a German-American club, that also served as a venue for Pitt athletics and a dental school clinic during the university's early days in Oakland. It is also Schenley Farms Historic District Contributing Property and absolutely asinine to destroy. I know for a fact that the city planning commission blocked the alteration of an entrance on this building because it detracted from its historic integrity too much, so I can't imagine they'd let any of these three buildings come down. The interior of this one could be gutted, as could the Music Building, but the exteriors shouldn't be touched. Whoever signed off on a plan to remove these three historic buildings is a flat out idiot.
    • Concept sketches show no attempt to preserve the facade of the former Allegheny Public Health building on Forbes. The building should be demolished, but the facade needs to be preserved and incorporated into the new structure. A major shortsighted architectural loss.
    Not sure (will have to see final product):
    • Bouquet Gardens townhouse buildings all look to demolished and replaced by dorm style buildings. The current plot also seems to be sliced through by an extension of Roberto Clemente Dr. If that is open to vehicular traffic, that is a big mistake. Pitt does not need to create more of a grid. Not sure if I like this plan. Bouquet Gardens is nicely done area of campus if you ever walk through it. I can see replacing the townhouse units, but not sure about these large dorms structures are the right way to go about it.
    • For the "Innovation District", it looks like they are targeting the entire block that McDonald's, Dave & Andy's, Fuel & Fuddle, and the Garage Door/former Decade sit on. Also the half block of the former IGA/Attic and Loeffler Building. If they were smart, they'd preserve some of the facades of these buildings. A lot, if not all of the character of Forbes will be lost if they don't. Unfortunately, I don't think they are that smart.
    • New building going up between Hillman and the Barco Law Building. This has been long planned. Will be interesting to see the design here as it is going to be in the midst of a brutalist paradise. This has to be done carefully and designed to complement the existing architecture while not being beholden to it. In general, they do need to put something here, but IMO the design is going to be tricky and it is such a central part of campus, it could easily be botched.
    • Expansions of Posvar (taking out the Bouquet side plaza). This, again, could destroy the existing architecture grouping and may result in a much more grided, less campus feel because you are losing the set back there along Bouquet which helps transition into Bouquet Gardens and the residential neighborhood. This expansion, along with the new dorm complexes, I fear will in no way soften the urban grid feeling.
    • The 1965 Tasso Katselas designed Information Science Building. A brutalist structure, it is also one of the more interesting modern buildings on campus. The ground floor was already significantly altered. I think they'll eventually regret getting rid of this one. I'm not sure if you truly need to replace this, so it better be replaced by something architecturally significant.
    Not ideal, but necessary:
    • Learning Research and Development Center is bulldozed to make way for a new student rec center (the O'Hara St parking garage is also lost). The LRDC was an award winning building by Harrison & Abramovitz and is one of Pitt's only interesting modern buildings. This is a moderate, but acceptable loss. A new student rec center is much needed.
    • Falk Clinic, which is actually a Pitt building, looks to be lost and replaced. Falk Clinic is actual a 1931 Edward Purcell Mellon building. It's original style and facade was largely obliterated by a modernist glass addition to the Forbes Ave entrance. Because of that, it is not much of a loss.
    • Redesign, but not closure of Bigelow Blvd: this goes with their zero acquisition of new properties theme in their presentation but not pushing for a full closure is a failure. Slowly squeezing it closed may be the way they have to proceed.
    Applause:
    • The Space Research & Coordination Center, a 1965 monstrosity that obliterated the classical facade of the main entrance of Thaw Hall, looks to be coming down. A new building appears to replace it on the parking lot. It looks like, and I really hope that, Thaw's facade could be restored. Great move if so.
    • Two buildings are going up on the former Syria Mosque site, too long a surface parking lot. Long overdue. Nice to see they're incorporating a quad feature. The design of these buildings is critical. Hopefully they don't skimp and make some lasting, signature buildings that complement the campus.
    • The Center Oakland Apartments and Oakwood Apartments are demoed and replaced by dorm like structures. Also a building is placed on the Sennot Square parking lot. These changes are all long overdue as the existing apartment buildings were worn and dated, but I can see substantial push back from community residents. Also the student micro farm on Oakland is lost, which is not unexpected and never meant to be permanent, but I imagine that will cause some students to raise a stink.
    • New housing (likely in the style of Irvis and Panther Halls) going up on the former site of the Mineral Industries Building/original dental school. About time.
    • Crabtree Hall (which is an annex to the Public Health building) is being demoed and rebuilt as tower. This is a good idea and replacement of that building is long overdue and its surface lot has been an eyesore on that corner.
    • New building going on the former Burger King site/current parking lot across Bouquet from the Towers. This has long been planned and way overdue.
    • New building on the PNC Bank site on Fifth and Craig. Long overdue.
    • Previously known expansions of Scaife Hall and WPIC are shown. Victoria also getting an addition.
    • The plaza around the Towers looks like it will get a major rennovation/rebuild.
    • Lothrop Hall looks like it will be demolished and rebuilt.
    • Forbes Hall looks like it is targeted for demolishing and rebuilding as an Innovation District building
    • Looks like chunks of Montefiore Hospital along 5th are targeted to come down.
    • Salk Hall Pavilion (the 1967 annex in front of the landmark hospital, but thankfully not the historic hospital building) looks to be redone.
    • Frick Fine Arts Building annex: this has long been in the works, overdue, and needed, so I'll assume they build something complementary to FFA and not something that ruins or detracts from it.
    Athletics (I see no problem with any of these):
    • Most of Trees Hall (except for the pool which looks to get an addition, probably a diving well) is bulldozed and replace by an indoor facility with an apparent glass covering. It looks like its front lawn is lost.
    • Major development on the OC lot
    • Fitzgerald Field House is bulldozed and rebuilt as flex support space with a quad.
    • Expansions to the Pete and and PSC.
     
    31 CrazyPaco, Sep 29, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
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  32. CrazyPaco

    CrazyPaco Head Coach
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    Putting a parking garage on the Pete Lawn may be one of the stupidest ideas I've ever heard.

    I don't get to campus that often, but I almost always see students using it until the winter. Smart choice to leave it mostly lawn. Lack of greenspace was a major complaint in all the surveys.
     
  33. bwh05

    bwh05 Senior
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    I doubt they ever commit to building anything there
     
  34. paulbl99

    paulbl99 Board of Trustee
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    Pitt building a football field in Oakland Pittsburgh PA couldn’t be be built for twice what any field you and SMF pine over every other week....why that can’t be comprehended is a boggler...

    It ain’t happening, don’t believe it just listen to what the Boss says, and look at the dog and pony show Pitt took the time to prepare.
    Pretty nice too; no Football Field
     
  35. TIGER-PAUL

    TIGER-PAUL Head Coach
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    I walk by the lawn everyday and hardly anyone uses it. But its one of the few outdoor spaces that's actually quiet. I think if they make it more of a park with seating, shade or walkways etc more would utilize it.
     
  36. recruitsreadtheseboards

    recruitsreadtheseboards Lair Hall of Famer
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    I know I am mostly sarcastic and a smartass on these boards.

    However, this is a serious request. Please, when you review these plans there is a comments section and page. Please make yourself heard in regards to an on campus stadium. Don't worry about the logistics and "it will never happen negativity". I can tell yout this, it surely won't if no one shows interest.

    In a few short, respectful sentences or paragraphs, please tell them you want an on campus stadium.

    For example, if anyone saw the Iowa/Wisky game, how the Childrens Hospital there is tied to the Iowa stadium, with these new hospital complexes going up, a Football stadium could be the focal point in Oakland and the campus, tied into or adjacent to a hospital and classrooms, restaurants, etc...

    Again, you, me, we, all voicing our opinion is not going to make an on campus stadium happen. But silence definitely will not make it happen. I have heard this from some sources, so this is a chance to be heard. Use it.
     
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  37. bwh05

    bwh05 Senior
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    It does get some people playing catch or the occasional student event, but it’s definitely under utilized.
     
  38. CrazyPaco

    CrazyPaco Head Coach
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    Last I was on campus, for the Pitt-PSU game weekend, it was hosting a large kickball event with dozens of students, at night. It has an advantage of being a lighted field. They’re planning another large dorm adjacent to it too.
     
  39. HailtoPitt

    HailtoPitt Athletic Director
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    Are they really as stupid as Paco says, or is Pitt going to threaten to tear down those historical significant structures ad a means to push another project through?
     
  40. HailtoPitt

    HailtoPitt Athletic Director
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    I consistently say that they aren't committed enough to build a stadium in Oakland. Pitt football will continue being a national laughing stock because of it.
     

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