CMU plan includes nano tech facility

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A $70 million nano-biomedical-energy technologies facility tops the list of priorities for Carnegie Mellon University under a 10-year master plan that will serve as the blueprint for the school's growth.

CMU expects to break ground on the 80,000-square-foot building this summer and have it ready for occupancy in 2015. It will enable the university to move its biomedical engineering program from the Pittsburgh Technology Center in South Oakland to its main campus.

The new center will be built near facilities that house a number of other engineering programs, and CMU hopes to make that part of campus "a crossroads for all the engineering science" at the school, said Ralph Horgan, associate vice provost of campus design and facility development.

The nano-biomedical-energy facility is one of several major initiatives advanced by CMU in the master plan, which got its first airing before the city planning commission Tuesday.

Mr. Horgan told commission members the plan gives CMU "a path to smart urban growth in a dense and dynamic city."

In the plan, CMU also is proposing to build a new home for its Tepper School of Business -- now located in the Graduate School of Industrial Administration building and Posner Hall -- in what is now the Morewood parking lot on the north side of Forbes Avenue.

The university also intends to move fitness facilities from the aging Skibo Gym to an expanded University Center. Skibo then would be renovated to become the headquarters for campus athletics.

Another piece of the master plan involves the expansion of Heinz College to include classrooms, possibly an auditorium and informal meeting space. The university also is looking to expand Margaret Morrison Hall to support the College of Fine Arts.

One idea the university scrapped after community and campus meetings over the master plan was a proposal to turn two lanes of Forbes Avenue into bike paths.

Also Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds presented plans for their new 3,500-seat soccer stadium at Station Square.

The team hopes to have the $7.5 million venue completed by early August. The stadium, to be built between the Sheraton Station Square hotel and the Fort Pitt Bridge, will seat 3,500 people and have views of the Downtown skyline.

Besides soccer, the stadium will host Pittsburgh Passion women's football games, lacrosse and rugby matches, and "mid-tier" concerts. The team also is thinking about putting an outdoor ice rink inside the stadium during the winter.


Mark Belko: mbelko@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1262.


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