Community College of Allegheny County puts $22M into building renovations at North Side campus
Some buildings at Community College of Allegheny County’s Allegheny Campus in the North Side are showing their age, which is prompting a $22 million renovation.
One of the goals of the Ridge Avenue Revitalization Project is for students to come to brighter, more modern spaces, said Donna Imhoff, president of the Allegheny Campus.
“We want them to have a really positive experience,” she said.
The three-phase revitalization project will include work at the Physical Education Building, West Hall and the Foerster Student Services Center.
In the 42-year-old Physical Education Building, an unused swimming pool on the first floor has been filled. It will be replaced by a bookstore that will supplant a smaller bookstore in the Library Building that can be difficult to access, especially for people with disabilities, Imhoff said. A Starbucks coffee shop will go in next to the bookstore, she said.
The student lounge known as the Cougars’ Den, which was in the basement of West Hall, will be moved to a larger space on the third floor of the Physical Education Building. Student Life, which is in Jones Hall, will move to a larger space in the PE Building.
“It’s going to be much more student friendly, student focused,” CCAC spokeswoman Elizabeth Johnston said.
West Hall, which is a historically designated building constructed in 1920, will be home to a new cultural and fine arts center with a state-of-the-art recording studio for the music program. It will house criminal justice, visual arts, graphic design, sculpture, speech and communications disciplines and other programs that had been scattered among other buildings.
A computer lab will move from cramped space on the fifth floor of the Library Building to the Foerster Student Services Center, Johnston said.
Discussions about the Ridge Avenue Revitalization Project started in 2009 during the start of construction of the $28 million K. Leroy Irvis Science Center, which opened in 2013 and left science classrooms and labs vacant in West Hall, she said.
The work started last fall at the Physical Education Building and will be completed in spring 2016, she said.
New York-based Perkins Eastman, which has an office Downtown, is the architectural firm and Downtown-based Oxford Development Co. is the construction manager on the project, she said.
Student tuition will not be affected by the cost of the project, which will be financed by a bond, Johnston said.
There are 7,260 students enrolled at the Allegheny Campus, which includes the Homewood-Brushton Center.
Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5662 or [email protected].