Carnegie Mellon University

The Piper

CMU Community News

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November 17, 2015

Construction Ahead

A Flurry of Activity Lines Forbes Avenue

By Bruce Gerson /

The Tepper Quad is one of seven prominent construction projects — five along Forbes Avenue — that are either nearing completion, in progress or just getting underway.

Chief Financial Officer Amir Rahnamay-Azar said the projects represent more than 800,000 square feet of new construction and an investment of more than $500 million.

Cohon Center

Nearing completion is the six-story, 13-legged north wing of Scott Hall, which overlooks the hollow between Hamerschlag Hall and the Carnegie Museum of Art. Scheduled for completion this January, the glass-enclosed north wing will be home to the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, the Biomedical Engineering Department, the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems and a café. The Claire and John Bertucci Nanotechnology Laboratory will be completed later in 2016, after commissioning and the installation of the cleanroom tools.

Scott Hall also will serve as a conduit, connecting classrooms, labs and offices in buildings along the west end of campus at the end of what's commonly referred to as “the mall.”

Also nearing completion is the Hamburg Hall renovation project. A new 150-seat auditorium, modeled after Rashid Auditorium in the Hillman Center, has been constructed between Smith and Hamburg halls and an ADA-compliant Forbes Avenue entrance has recently opened. The auditorium was completed for the start of classes this past August.

Work is now underway to convert Hamburg Hall 1000, the large lecture hall commonly called the “rotunda,” into a grand entrance and lobby area where students, faculty, staff and visitors can network and collaborate on projects. The lobby should be completed sometime in January of 2016. Additional work in the west wing of Hamburg is scheduled to be completed for classes next fall.

The much-anticipated Cohon University Center addition will be completed this May. The 62,000 square foot expansion will consist of new fitness and recreation facilities, a new studio theater for student performance groups and an elegant university presence along Forbes Avenue.

The glass-enclosed fitness component facing Forbes will include a room for free weights and a large area with more than 70 cardiovascular machines, two exercise studios for group classes and a dedicated cycling, or spinning classroom. Additional locker rooms are also being installed as part of the project.

Projects that are in the works, but have not yet broken ground are the Gateway Development Project, the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Building and the Forbes/Morewood Project.

The 425,000 square foot Gateway Project, earmarked for the south corner of Forbes and Craig Street adjacent to the Carnegie Museum of Art, will be a new hub for entrepreneurship and industry partnerships. The private, third party development, on land leased from the university, will include office space for industry partners, retail space, a hotel and conference center, and parking. CMU has received development proposals for the project, and expects approval from the board of trustees in February. The construction of this project is expected to take more than three years to complete.

Tepper Quad Construction

The TCS Building, a result of the CMU-TCS partnership announced earlier this year, will be a five-story, 40,000 square foot structure on the site of the current Electric Garage on Forbes. TCS researchers will occupy the top floor. Floors two, three and four will be flexible space where TCS researchers and CMU faculty and students can collaborate. The ground floor is designated for retail.

Existing occupants of the Gateway Project and TCS Building sites will move to alternative locations.

The Forbes/Morewood project has three components — creating a town square between the Cohon Center and the Tepper Quad, upgrading the Warner Hall infrastructure and adding 25,000 additional square feet to the building.

“We want the Cut to talk to the new Quad,” said Ralph Horgan referring to the connection the town square would create between the two landmarks.

Horgan, associate vice president for Campus Design and Facility Development, said the project would take about two and one-half years to complete. He said about 200 employees in Warner Hall must be relocated while the infrastructure is upgraded. Relocation of existing building occupants is expected to take place after the 2016 Commencement.

Top photo: The 62,000 square foot expansion to the Cohon University Center will consist of new fitness and recreation facilities, a new studio theater for student performance groups and an elegant university presence along Forbes Avenue.

Photo above: Work is underway for the Tepper Quad.