I am very pleased to report that we have made significant progress in our planning for a UPJ Health and Wellness Center. During the Fall Term, representatives of the student body, faculty, and staff met several times to review the preliminary design and develop an updated vision for the Center. We have received preliminary approval and have begun working with our colleagues in Facilities Management in Pittsburgh on this exciting project.
In addition to beginning a site evaluation, Facilities Management is currently developing a request for proposals for the $10 million project. This process will ultimately result in the appointment of design professionals who will develop the building plan and initiate a competitive selection of a construction manager. We anticipate breaking ground in Spring 2009. The construction phase is projected to take 10-to-12 months, which would enable us to complete the facility by May 2010
The completion of the Wellness Center is expected to meet needs for a contemporary space for recreation and enhancement of students' personal and professional well being. In the meantime, I have asked the Facilities Infrastructure and Technology Task Force to review and make recommendations for some upgrades to our current weight room.
I would like to thank everyone who has given time and expertise to work on this important project. I especially wish to express my gratitude to the student senators and their fine leaders Ms. Angela Mazur and Mr. Jeff Burtner for providing key insights that guided the planning phase of the Health and Wellness Center. Likewise, a special thank you to my predecessor, Dr. Etheridge, as well as other colleagues in the faculty, staff and administration who advanced the process that has culminated in this milestone for UPJ. Last but not least, I am most appreciative of the strong support of the leadership at the University of Pittsburgh for our strategic efforts to excel so palpably and favorably illustrated in this matter as well as in other areas.
One of the best things about UPJ- in fact a signature attribute- is our uniquely picturesque campus characterized by distinctive and architecturally alluring buildings that blend so gracefully into a bucolic wooded landscape. To be sure, the new Wellness Center to be located adjacent to the Sports Center would add to the serene majesty of this place in a physical sense. Even more so, the new building would enhance the spirit of the place as it will catalyze activities that contribute to the necessary harmony between mind and body, spirit and substance.
I will continue to update you periodically as we make progress towards completion of our Health and Wellness Center.
Mountain Cat Proud!
Jem Spectar, President