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PITTSBURGH-The Property and Facilities Committee of the University of Pittsburgh’s board of trustees has approved construction and renovation projects totaling $66.9 million. The budget is spread among nine projects. The board has also approved leases, which aggregate 18,047 sf in two locations.

The biggest chunk of the budget, $20.2 million, is for renovation of the University Club at 123 University Place. Floors one through four will be converted to contain a 4,000-sf faculty club, 4,000-sf fitness center, 18,000-sf conference and banquet facility, 4,000-sf kitchen, 8,000 sf of office space and a coffee shop off the renovated main lobby. A roof terrace will be added. Floors five through eight will be converted into a facility the university will lease to Family House Inc., a nonprofit that houses families of patients undergoing long-term treatment.

The Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business in Mervis Hall will gain a 3,000-sf financial analysis lab resembling an actual Wall Street-like trading floor at a cost of $2.3 million. Another $16.8 million is devoted to expansion of the Mascaro Sustainability Initiative in the Swanson School of Engineering. The initiative is dedicated to research and education on green building and design, and the addition of 32,000 sf of new and renovated space will connect Benedum Hall and Benedum Auditorium.

The other projects are primarily upgrades of laboratories and building systems along with the addition of new science labs in buildings that house teaching, nursing, research, and environmental studies. A university spokesman tells GlobeSt.com the board’s approval is a “first step,” and time lines for the projects have not yet been established. They do not require approval of the full board of trustees, he adds.

A five-year lease for 9,777 sf at 204 Craft Ave. has an initial annual cost of $537,735. The Center for Research in Reproductive Physiology will take the space. The university will ink a 10-year lease for 8,270 sf at 120 Atwood St. at an initial annual rental rate of $132,320, and it will house the university’s payment processing and financial services departments.

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