Hillside Area Development


The upper campus hillside area is undergoing a major transformation, taking a fully integrated approach to develop this space and add new amenities, pedestrian pathways, outdoor spaces, a sustainable stormwater management system and more in the coming years.

Development initiatives include:

  • Enabling Projects
    • Infrastructure Improvements – Updates to aging utilities infrastructure include a new chilled water plant, as well as power, chilled water and sewer lines. These projects support campus building needs and future Campus Master Plan projects, in addition to creating utilities resiliency and redundancy needed to support a preeminent research university.
    • Pathway Enhancements - University Drive is being reconfigured, in addition to a central traversed pedestrian walkway to travel across campus. Dedicated pathway improvements will create a more pedestrian-friendly, safer and sustainable hillside while providing convenient access and greater connection across campus areas. 
    • Outdoor Spaces – New hillside areas will provide additional welcoming outdoor gathering spaces for students, faculty and staff.
    • Sustainable Landscape – Landscaping improvements will bring a sustainable new landscape design to the area that increase the use of native species and reduce vehicular surfaces.
  • Campus Recreation and Wellness CenterLearn more
  • Victory Heights Learn more
    • Includes Petersen Sports Complex renovations, new Arena and Sports Performance Complex, Indoor Track & Field and Band Complex
  • Additional proposed hillside area projects include an upgraded stormwater management system and student housing, part of the Campus Master Plan developed in collaboration with the City of Pittsburgh, Oakland community members, students, faculty and staff.

Status and Impacts

Infrastructure improvements including new chilled water plant and pathway enhancements, in addition to Campus Recreation and Wellness Center construction, continue underway with site-specific safety plans in place.

Update 3.4.22: 

  • Crane Lift on Monday, March 7 – To support the Chilled Water Distribution Project, our Contractor will utilize a crane to place Vault 2. Out of an abundance of caution, the Petersen Event Center steps will be closed during the lift.  The estimated duration is ½ day on Monday.  Pedestrian traffic will be detoured for those traversing from lower campus to the OC lot or west on Allequippa Street towards Trees Hall.  Flaggers will be deployed to help direct pedestrians. 
  • Electrical Duct Bank work in March – To support enabling projects, electrical duct bank work is est. to occur on Terrace Street March 9–11  and the Robinson Street Extension March 7, impacting these areas.

Additional Impacts:

  • Walkways
    • The main pedestrian stairs from Irvis Hall to Chevron and walkway on the south side of Irvis Hall are closed. Pedestrians can travel by using the shuttle service or the Petersen Events Center stairs, excluding March 7.
    • Pedestrian stairs from Eberly Hall to University Drive A are closed. Pedestrians can access Eberly from Parkman Avenue.
    • Partial sidewalk closures may also be in place in select construction areas – please follow alternate marked routes.
  • Roads
    • Upper University Drive A and University Drive B are closed to vehicles. Vehicles can access the area using Allequippa Street to University Drive C by Irvis Hall.

Pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers are reminded to travel safely through the area by proceeding with caution, following alternate marked routes and not entering construction site areas.

Construction area and pedestrian path re-routing maps through April 8 2022:

Hillside Impacts


Hillside planning is fully integrated, taking a comprehensive and holistic approach to developing the area, with phased completion timelines for each project.

  • Petersen Sports Complex renovations, part of Victory Heights, are complete
  • A new chilled water plant is slated for completion December 2023
  • The Campus Recreation and Wellness Center is targeted to open Fall 2024
  • New roads, biking and pedestrian walkways, plus outdoor spaces and sustainable landscapes, will be the finishing touches to the Hillside

Learn More

To learn more about hillside development and benefits, read the behind-the-scenes profile with project manager Anastasia Dubnicay.