The University is engaging faculty and staff in planning a state-of-the-art center for fitness, well-being and recreation on O’Hara Street in Oakland.
The new center — which will physically link the University’s upper and lower campuses — is slated to open for faculty, staff and student use in 2022. Projected at around 300,000 square feet, the center will accommodate a range of wellness, fitness, club and recreational activities and support an active, healthy and engaged lifestyle.
The center’s location at the heart of campus positions it to serve as a natural convening space for faculty, staff and students throughout Oakland. Accordingly, the University will actively engage faculty and staff throughout the project’s evolution and use their input to inform the center’s design, programming and priorities.
A steering committee for the center has already contributed through the conceptual phase of the planning process and will have continued involvement throughout the development of this new facility.
Kenny Doty, chair of the staff life committee on Staff Council and online learning and technology services lead in the Swanson School of Engineering’s Technology Group, serves as the staff representative to the committee. Kathy Kelly, associate professor and vice chair in the Department of Physical Therapy in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, is the faculty representative; she also serves as co-chair on the plant utilization and planning (PUP) Senate committee.
“My overriding goal is to manage this relocation so that it minimizes the disruptions to their programs,” said David DeJong, executive vice provost. “I’m excited about the possibilities that are shaping up for them.”
Beyond gathering faculty and staff input, the University has established an advisory panel composed of student representatives. Both groups will remain active during the center’s evolution — from design development to opening day. In addition, all University community members will have a chance to submit feedback via an online portal, which will launch in the coming weeks, on the master plan website.
The University has tapped architecture firm Moody Nolan to design the center, with construction slated to begin on existing Pitt property in spring 2020. The project is the first that the University has moved from idea to action as part of its campus master plan released in late 2018.