CMU Plans to Add New Research, Academic Buildings

Jan 24, 2012

A major new "Nano-Bio-Energy Technologies Building" headlined the presentation when Carnegie Mellon University unveiled its ten-year Master Plan to the Pittsburgh City Planning Commission Tuesday.

CMU hopes to install the seven-story, 120,000-square-foot structure in its core, along with another four-story academic building and additions to Margaret-Morrison Hall, Porter Hall, and Wean Hall.

In fact, new buildings are planned for nearly every part of the campus, from its western reaches in Oakland to its eastern boundaries in Squirrel Hill and Shadyside.

Westward, Ho

The school also hopes to build an office and research facility on newly-acquired properties next to the Carnegie Museums. School officials have also asked the Planning Commission to re-zone new properties in that area so it could build higher-capacity student housing along its western perimeter.

CMU Director of Design Bob Reppe said while the school's undergraduate population has held steady at about 5,700, its post-graduate population has ballooned over the past decade.

"It's conceivable that in the lifespan of this next Master Plan that we'll have an equal number of graduates and undergraduates on our campus," said Reppe. "…we want to do things like maximize our recent investments and be able to get the most out of the property — preserve the core, but also start to build up higher densities around the outside of the core."

Turning North

Reppe said much of the development over the next ten years will happen north of Forbes Avenue in the Morewood Street area, where the school hopes to construct a new home for its Tepper School of Business.

"Part of the growth of this campus master plan really focuses on both the Morewood parking lot as being the new extension of campus, or the 'North Quad,' as we're calling it, as well as the developments in the Forbes-Craig [Street] area," said Reppe. "The site for the proposed Tepper School would be the first, the kind of 'flag in the ground,' if you will."

More office, research, and residential space is also in the cards for the so-called North Quad.

Other plans for redevelopment include a footpath to run through the entirety of campus, pedestrian bridges across Junction Hollow, and major renovations to school's athletic facilities.