Carnegie Mellon Press Release: February 20, 2004
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Press Release

Contact:
Teresa S. Thomas or Jennifer Miller
412-268-2900

For immediate release:
February 20, 2004

Carnegie Mellon Student Researchers Seek Public Input On Wilkinsburg Train Station Rehabilitation Projec

PITTSBURGH—In 1916, the Borough of Wilkinsburg welcomed a majestic new train station. Nearly 90 years later the building sits empty and deteriorated, with nothing to contribute to the culture or economy of the borough.

The grand architecture of the station has caught the attention of many, including a team of students from Carnegie Mellon University's H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management. The graduate students have partnered with the Borough of Wilkinsburg to promote the revitalization of the Wilkinsburg Train Station.

"The train station is one of the community's assets and we would like to see it return to its former glory," said Wilkinsburg Mayor Wilbert Young. "We hope the building will become an economic generator and serve as yet another example of revitalization in Wilkinsburg."

The Carnegie Mellon students have received a $10,000 grant from an anonymous contributor to conduct research, including public polls. Through the polls, they hope to discover how the station can be used in a way that will benefit the community and boost the economy. Some suggestions have included a jazz museum, restaurant or café.

To collect the opinions of community members, the Carnegie Mellon students are conducting a survey that can be accessed at www.wilkinsburgtrainstation.org. Pittsburghers can access the website and complete the survey to indicate what they believe would flourish in the historic building.

Wilkinsburg residents should look for the survey in the February 25 Pennysaver. Completed surveys can be dropped off to Dunkin Donuts, Standard Bank or the Wilkinsburg Borough building by March 12 for a chance to win gift certificates for movie rentals and groceries.

The Carnegie Mellon graduate students plan to meet with Wilkinsburg residents by conducting focus groups and handing surveys out in and around the city.

"Over the years many ideas have surfaced about what should go in the Train Station," said Sean Roberts, a Carnegie Mellon student who leads the project. "Our research will show what the community will support in that location and hopefully lead to the redevelopment of the building."

The renovation of the station, located in the heart of the Wilkinsburg business district, could profoundly impact the economy and encourage further development in Wilkinsburg. The group will report the findings of their survey in April. Email questions to train-station@andrew.cmu.edu

Written by Jennifer Miller, MAPW

Contacts: Mayor Wilbert Young
412-244-2920
Fax 412-241-3844

Sean Roberts
412-609-7251
sroberts@andrew.cmu.edu

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