Duquesne University has entered into a purchase agreement to acquire the site where it intends to construct the building for its new College of Osteopathic Medicine. The building will sit at 1323 Forbes Avenue, located at the intersection of Forbes Avenue and Magee Street in the city's Uptown neighborhood, bordered by Magee Street to the west and Stevenson Street to the east.

Duquesne intends to construct an 80,000 square-foot building to house the new Medical College. In addition to administrative and faculty offices, the building will include more than 12,000 square feet of classroom space and more than 20,000 square feet of space for such advanced learning technologies as virtual anatomy labs, simulation exam and clinical spaces and virtual reality studios.

Planners estimate the cost of the building and other related improvements for the College of Medicine to be about $60 million. The University intends to raise funds to cover a substantial portion of the cost of the construction. Demolition and site preparation will begin in late 2020, with construction commencing in June 2021.

"This major step forward gets us more focused on our next steps with the medical college," says John M. Kauffman Jr., dean of Duquesne's medical college. "As I start my work, having the site selected lets us focus on ensuring the home of the college meets the needs for future students and for Duquesne."

Preliminary designs feature glassed lobby spaces on the ground floor and a curved setback from the road, with greenspace, to enhance the appearance of Forbes Avenue. Once completed across the street from the renovated UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse, the two blocks of renovated space will create a gateway for campus.

"This site is a perfect location for our College of Medicine," said Duquesne President Ken Gormley. "It will stand in the midst of the Uptown EcoInnovation District and along the path of the planned Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system that Mayor Bill Peduto and County Executive Rich Fitzgerald have identified as a key area of growth and redevelopment in our region. It will also be located just feet away from one major medical provider, UPMC Mercy Hospital, and nearby to a rich array of other top-notch healthcare providers and hospitals. The building, enhanced green space and other aesthetic improvements will help to extend vitality to the entire community of which we are a part."

Accompanying images are copyright SLAM collaborative architects and are used by permission.

Duquesne plans to acquire the 1.2-acre site for $5.7 million from Life'sWork of Western PA, a non-profit organization, founded in 1927, that provides employment support services to individuals with disabilities and those facing other barriers to employment. The University has structured a delayed closing so that Life'sWork and their tenants have time to relocate.

"Life'sWork has considered a sales transaction for the building for a number of years, seeking to continue our work in an updated and right-sized facility," said Life'sWork President and CEO Timothy Parks. "We are delighted that we have been able to achieve two worthy objectives with this transaction. We will be able to serve our clients in an excellent facility located on the City's South Side while Duquesne's College of Osteopathic Medicine will add immeasurably to our community not simply by its presence but also by the graduates who will learn there and contribute to the wellness of our community. It is a fitting tribute to the Uptown site that Life'sWork has called home for fifty years."

Accompanying images are copyright SLAM collaborative architects and are used by permission.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 8,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University's academic programs, community service and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim.

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December 18, 2019