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CMU seeks greener paths for its future

| Thursday, Dec. 13, 2001, 12:00 p.m.

Carnegie Mellon University expects to submit a master plan for developing its Oakland campus to the city planning commission by the end of the year.

The project, which builds on a previous master plan approved in 1988, will serve as a blueprint for changes on the campus over the next two decades. Included in the new plan are proposals to build more space for the school's rapidly expanding computer science department and to eliminate surface parking.

"We're looking more at the pedestrian environment and the feel of the outdoor campus," said Paul Tellers, CMU's architect. "We're really making an effort over the next 20 years on eliminating surface parking and making it a real pedestrian campus."

The city planning commission will hold public hearings regarding the proposals over the next year. The commission then will make a recommendation on the plan to Pittsburgh City Council, which could issue final approval. The process is similar to a master planning process finalized by city officials earlier this year for UPMC Health System's Oakland medical campus.

Work on CMU's 1988 plan was finished in 1999, when CMU opened the Purnell Center for its drama school. Other building projects in the 1988 plan included the University Center and Newell-Simon Hall.

The 1988 plan focused on addressing CMU's need for space. Tellers said the new plan will focus more on the quality of life on campus.

For example, the school aims to replace surface parking on campus with parking garages. The tops of those garages, Tellers said, would be reserved as space for new buildings or maintained as green space.

The school also wants to install measures that will slow traffic on Forbes Avenue, which divides the university's residential and research campuses.

Some buildings are planned under the new master plan, including space for the school's computer science department on the western part of campus. CMU officials also expect to break ground in January on a new freshmen dormitory with 260 beds.

"There certainly are new buildings on the plan, but the real thrust was to improve the quality of space and improve the quality of life on campus," Tellers said.

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