CMU Master Plan Approaches Final Approval

Noah Brode April 19, 2012

Pittsburgh City Council has given preliminary approval to Carnegie Mellon University’s latest ten-year master plan.

According to CMU Director of Design Bob Reppe, one key aspect of the master plan is for the school to embrace Forbes Avenue as the main campus thoroughfare. Reppe told the council the university has started to make a few changes to reflect the new attitude toward the busy street.

“This involves building front doors of our buildings towards Forbes Avenue, something we have not historically done,” said Reppe. He said the school also wants to plant trees along the roadside and move the sidewalks further from car traffic. Two new traffic lights have been suggested to give pedestrians easier crossing.

CMU also plans to build several new buildings over the next decade.

“One is the creation of a new nanotechnology center, new home for medical engineering, new energy futures technology institute,” said Reppe. “That will likely be the first [new] building coming online. Hopefully by the end of this year we’ll start work on it.”

The ten-year plan was praised by Councilman Bill Peduto. He said CMU had to find a way to please residents of Oakland, Squirrel Hill, and Shadyside, all of which border the university.

“It is different to each of them — as Oakland is more of a retail area with a neighborhood around it, Squirrel Hill is single-family homes, and Shadyside is more apartment buildings — but each of them have direct needs of how that institution will sort of fit within those confines,” said Peduto.

The master plan was created over the past two years. CMU held more than 90 public meetings in all three neighborhoods, according to Reppe.

The document is expected to pass when it comes up for a final Council vote next Wednesday.