Carnegie Mellon University

Jim Rohr, Tris Jahanian, President Farnam Jahanian, members of the Allegheny Foundation

October 26, 2018

Carnegie Mellon University To Build New Scaife Hall

Lead grant from Allegheny Foundation kicks off latest project in revitalization of institution's engineering buildings

By Brian Thornton

Jason Maderer
  • Marketing & Communications
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Carnegie Mellon University will construct a new Scaife Hall for its College of Engineering thanks to a lead grant from the Allegheny Foundation. The $30 million commitment, the largest grant in the history of the Allegheny Foundation, was announced by President Farnam Jahanian during his Inauguration speech on Oct. 26.

The new Scaife Hall will more than double the size of the existing building, with a focus on expanded, technology-rich labs; modern, flexible classrooms; and spaces that facilitate formal and informal collaborations. The existing building will be demolished, and a new $75 million facility will be constructed on an expanded footprint at the same location on Frew Street, near Flagstaff Hill on the CMU campus.

“A new Scaife Hall is the latest investment in our multi-year effort to provide cutting-edge education and research spaces for our world-renowned College of Engineering,” Jahanian said. “We are grateful to the Allegheny Foundation for making the lead grant to jump-start this project, which will further strengthen our dynamic and growing mechanical engineering program.”

Scaife Hall will be adjacent to a planned new engineering quad that includes the recently renovated Hamerschlag Hall and the under-construction ANSYS Hall. Those facilities are part of the college's Maker Ecosystem, which provides students from across the university with hands-on learning opportunities to prepare them for dynamic, rapidly changing careers.

The new Scaife Hall project brings Carnegie Mellon’s total infrastructure investment in engineering over the past decade to more than a quarter billion dollars. In addition to Hamerschlag Hall enhancements and ANSYS Hall, the university completed the Sherman and Joyce Bowie Scott Hall, home to the Department of Biomedical Engineering as well as interdisciplinary research activities. It also renovated Porter Hall for the departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering; Doherty Hall, which houses the Department of Chemical Engineering; and the Roger Sorrells Engineering and Science Library.

In the most recent U.S. News & World Report rankings, the College of Engineering earned the number six spot overall, with multiple departments represented in the top 10. The college is a key part of Carnegie Mellon’s contribution to the regional economy through educating the next generation of engineers and nurturing Pittsburgh’s high-tech innovation ecosystem.

"This new building will elevate the space and laboratories necessary for us to continue to do the groundbreaking research and world-class teaching the college is known for around the world," said Jim Garrett, dean of the College of Engineering. "Engineering and the future engineering workforce will play a significant role in defining our ever-changing world, and we are grateful for how the Allegheny Foundation's support will advance our important mission."

The Allegheny Foundation and Carnegie Mellon share a long history. The original Scaife Hall was named after Alan Scaife, a longtime benefactor of Carnegie Mellon and the father of Richard M. Scaife, who founded the Allegheny Foundation in 1953.

The foundation, which focuses on support for Southwestern Pennsylvania initiatives in the areas of education, civic development and historic preservation, has previously supported projects in CMU's Mellon College of Science and School of Computer Science.

"Carnegie Mellon has played a leading role in the revitalization of the Greater Pittsburgh region through its education and research mission," said Matthew Groll, chairman of the Allegheny Foundation. "We are thrilled to empower the incredible work within CMU's College of Engineering and to continue the joint legacy of the university and the Scaife family."

Scaife Hall will continue to serve as home to the top-10-ranked Department of Mechanical Engineering, offering the department an expanded presence in the new building. The increased, state-of-the-art spaces will enable the department to boost its faculty and students by as much as 50 percent.

"The Department of Mechanical Engineering is excelling because of our incredible community of researchers and educators," said Allen Robinson, department head and Raymond J. Lane Distinguished Professor. "With a building that matches the ingenuity and talent of our people, we are excited for a future of even greater achievement."