Construction is underway at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown on a $12 million building that will serve as the new home to nursing and STEM majors (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). The building will house 11 labs for chemistry and biology as well as a nursing simulation lab.
Bob Knipple, Pitt-Johnstown Associate Vice-President for Institutional Advancement, said the building is a result of need for space on campus.
“We are outgrowing our laboratory space. More than 40 percent out of our 3,000 students are enrolled in those STEM-related majors, and our nursing program is at capacity with 160 students,” said Knipple. “So this building, we can’t have it built quickly enough.”
Knipple said current labs are not up-to-date and this will give science students state of the art lab space so they receive the preparation they need to be successful in the real world.
He said the project was funded in part from a $4 million state grant from the then Rendell administration as part of the "Put Pennsylvania to Work Initiative." Funding also came from the Johnstown Educational Foundation.
Knipple said the building will create jobs at the university.
“We’re in the third year of pretty much a historic faculty hiring initiative that will have resulted in the hiring of 50 full-time faculty,” said Knipple. “And a lot of them are the result of new nursing program, our focus on green chemistry, and green energy, biochemistry.”
He said it will be built with sustainability in mind, and is expected to become LEED certified when finished, becoming the first Pitt-Johnstown building to earn that designation.
Knipple said “if the planets align properly” and they have a mild winter the building will be completed during fall 2013.