Carnegie Mellon University

Joe Greenaway: 42 Years of Campus Construction

"Carnegie Mellon’s Pittsburgh campus could easily be called the house that Joe built."

Joe Greenaway Projects

Joe Greenaway, the university's Director of Construction for Campus Design & Facility Development, retired in November 2010 after 42 years with Carnegie Mellon.  In honor of his years of service, the University dedicated a monument to thank Joe and to honor his many significant contributions to Carnegie Mellon's campus and to its students, faculty and staff.  The cornerstone block is located in the Peace Garden, one of Joe's favorite places on the Pittsburgh campus.

Joe Greenaway Cornerstone

List of Campus Construction Projects Managed or Directed by Joe Greenaway

1971 - Wean Hall
1982 - Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall Plaza and Tennis Courts
1983 - Cyert Hall
1984 - Margaret Morrison Apartments
1987 - Elliot Dunlap Smith Hall
1988 - FMS Building (Physical Plant)
1988 - Alumni House Restoration
1990 - East Campus Project (Resnik, West Wing, Gesling Stadium, East Campus Garage)
1992 - Posner Hall
1995 - PTC Building (formerly CMRI)
1996 - University Center
1997 - Roberts Hall
1997-99 - Hill Dorms (Boss House and McGill House)
1999 - Purnell Center for the Arts
2000 - Baker Hall Addition
2000 - Miller Gallery
2000 - Posner Hall Addition
2001 - CFA Exterior Structural Restoration and Niches
2001 - Newell Simon Hall and Bridge to Wean Hall
2002 - Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall Portico Restoration
2002 - Doherty Hall Phase I Addition
2002-09 - Various Fraternity Renovations
2003 - Stever House
2004 - Posner Center
2005 - Morewood Gardens Exterior Structural Restoration
2005 - East Campus Garage 4th Floor Addition
2005 - Gates and Hillman Centers Preconstruction Domino Relocations
2006 - Round House
2006 - Walking to the Sky
2008 - Doherty Hall Phase II Expansion
2008 - Hunt Library Exterior Restoration
20008-09 - Silicon Valley Renovations
2009 - NREC Structural Restoration
2009 - Gates and Hillman Centers
2010 - Wean Hall Backfill
2010 - Mellon Institute Vivarium
2010 - Warner Hall Plaza
2010 - Wean Hall MRI
2010 - Roselawn Terrace Restoration
2010 - 4700 Fifth Avenue Restoration

Greenaway Goes Out on a High Note

The following article, written by Carnegie Mellon's Bruce Gerson, was published in the November 2010 article of The Piper.


Carnegie Mellon’s Pittsburgh campus could easily be called the house that Joe built. That Joe would be Joe Greenaway, director of construction for Campus Design and Facility Development, who after 42 years of managing 26 major construction projects and countless others has decided to hang up his hard hat.

The list of projects Greenaway has managed reads like the campus map. There’s the Physical Plant building; the East Campus Project, which includes the West Wing and Resnik residence halls, Gesling Stadium, the intramural field and the parking garage; the tennis courts; the Pittsburgh Technology Center on Second Avenue; the University Center; Posner Hall and Posner Center; Roberts Hall; the Purnell Center for the Arts; Doherty Hall phases 1 and 2; and the Gates and Hillman centers.

The completion of the Gates and Hillman centers gave him the opportunity to retire on a high note, he says. For him it was like winning the Super Bowl.

“The Gates Hillman Center was one of the most complicated projects in Carnegie Mellon’s history. I don’t know that I could’ve gone out with a more spectacular project,” Greenaway said.

Greenaway began his career at CMU’s maintenance department in October 1968 and soon established what was then known as the Facilities Management Services Control Center. He became superintendent of the maintenance foremen, running the carpentry, painting, grounds and vehicle maintenance crews.

In the early 1970s, cutbacks diminished his workforce, but not his productivity. Greenaway recalls the time he and a few of his crewmembers purchased parts from a scrap yard and built a couple maintenance vehicles from scratch to help service the university.

Greenaway became involved in the Wean Hall building project during the ’70s, and his focus turned from maintenance to construction. “I moved over into the construction department, which was very minimal at the time. I just kept it growing,” he said.

And as the campus kept growing, so did the admiration for Greenaway.

“Universally people respected him,” said Ralph Horgan, associate vice provost for Campus Design and Facility Development.

“People think of Joe as a hardbitten, mud on his boots, construction guy... [but] what people don’t know is his wisdom, his judge of character. He’s very smart, very wise and a very good judge of human beings,” Horgan said.

Horgan praises Greenaway for his knowledge of the business, his concern for safety and quality, and his “ability to laugh through all the stress” from demanding time schedules.

“That inside baseball construction knowledge of what’s quality and what’s not, that lay people would never understand or comprehend, Joe embedded that in all the construction projects he worked on. That value is there in these buildings, so that they will be here 100 years from now. ...Joe set the bar for this group,” Horgan said.

On his last day in the office, Greenaway’s crew of project managers spoke about his impact.

“Joe has been my model, and that’s probably why I’m still here,” said Ed Hydzik, a 26-year veteran at CMU. “We’re always between a rock and a hard place with the projects we have — it’s the nature of what we do — and to have Joe there to talk to about these situations was great. We’re really going to miss him.”

Max Dorosa, a 12-year member of the staff, said “It was good to have somebody with his experience and knowledge to bounce ideas off of.”

Project Manager Andrew Reilly said Greenaway had a knack for being able to listen to all the designers and contractors and be able to sum things up quickly.

Janice Held called his support and guidance with all construction matters “incredible.”

Adam Homer, the youngest of the project managers, said he learned something daily from his mentor. “There was a lot to take away every day,” he said.

Like the proverbial plumber with leaky faucets, Greenaway has many retirement projects on his list, including some home repairs. He said he’ll also continue to teach himself the guitar and hopes to learn a new foreign language.

“It’s been an amazing ride,” said Greenaway, who said he’ll miss the challenge of the next project. “We had a retirement party and I was absolutely astounded at the turnout. It made me realize how much I’ve touched everybody in some way and every building on this campus in some way, and I’m very, very, proud of that.”

--Bruce Gerson, November 2010