New Construction

University of Pittsburgh to Build New Recreation Center

Construction on a new Campus Recreation and Wellness Center at the University of Pittsburgh is underway. The project is part of a wider Campus Master Plan that was finalized in 2019 and will provide amenities like a recreational pool, jogging track, basketball courts, weightlifting equipment and more. The facility has an estimated size of about 270,000 square feet and will stand nine stories tall, according to a news release.

“It’s going to be in the heart of campus. People who live on upper campus tend to go to the Baierl and Petersen Events Center, and people who live on lower campus tend to go to the William Pitt Union Gym,” said Kaylea Gallagher, a biology sophomore and member of the university dance team. “We both will get to meet in the middle, and based off what they’re saying, I think it’s going to allow for everyone to get what they need right in one place.”

The new recreation center will stand on the site of the former Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC), whose demolition kicked off the third phase of the Campus Master Plan last August. Groundbreaking for the new rec center is scheduled for spring 2022, with an estimated completion date of fall 2024.

“This project began with listening to students, and their voices were loud and clear,” said University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. “They wanted better recreational opportunities and experiences at Pitt. From day one, we’ve made it a priority to engage students as true partners in planning the center and bringing our shared vision to life.”

The building is also set to include sustainability initiatives like natural light and energy efficiency, sustainable stormwater management and elements of biophilic design. According to a news release, it will conform to the standards set by the Pitt Sustainability Plan released in 2018. The facility will also seek LEED certification.

Other wellness initiatives in the space include meditation spaces, yoga spaces and dining options. Kaylea Gallagher called the wellness initiatives “helpful” beyond the amenities of a traditional gym. “Especially during studying and with college academics, it’s important to be able to take care of yourself when you have free time, and I think it will provide a lot of benefits to students,” Gallagher said.

Renderings of the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center are available on the University of Pittsburgh website.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].