Report issued on city facilities conditions
August 1, 2017
The City of Pittsburgh last week issued a report on the building conditions of city-owned facilities, which recommends major reinvestments, particularly to Public Safety facilities.
The report by Massaro Construction Management Services estimates the city needs to spend an estimated $60 million to repair structures citywide, including fire houses, police stations, recreation and senior centers, Public Works facilities and other structures.
The conditions assessment report provides valuable information but its recommendations are not final – rather, the report establishes a single data set the city will use to inform its next steps to improve building conditions.
There are no immediate plans to demolish or close buildings. Final decisions on the disposition of buildings will be subject to a robust public process with input from residents, employees and Pittsburgh City Council.
The report was commissioned in 2016 to provide a professional, third-party review of Pittsburgh government facilities to help guide city efforts to fully assess the conditions of its buildings and explore ways to improve them.
It followed an Executive Order signed by Mayor William Peduto in 2015 establishing a strategic investment and maintenance plan for city-owned facilities, as part of the city’s comprehensive fixed asset management system.
“Pittsburgh residents and workers deserve safe and productive places for city services. This report will help us find ways to preserve these neighborhood anchors and deliver high-quality services for decades to come,” Mayor Peduto said.
With the release of the report the city next plans to hire a contract management firm to organize efforts to improve buildings. That work will include forming a committee of police officers, fire fighters, medics, union representatives and others to prioritize upgrades to Public Safety facilities. The contract manager will also organize neighborhood meetings to gather community input on facility upgrades.
While these priorities are being identified the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will study ways to find increased funding to pay for building upgrades. That could include using proceeds from the sale of city-owned properties; proceeds from leases of city-owned properties; and identifying unused funding for other capital projects.
All of the data collected by Massaro was loaded into the city’s Cartegraph operations management software. This will allow for the data to be constantly updated, and for facility upgrades to be tracked in real time as the Department of Public Works (DPW) completes work orders.
The report recommends the city first address upgrades at buildings in poor condition that are also used on a 24-hour/7-day basis. Those buildings are Firehouse 24 in the South Side Flats; the Zone 4 police station and Firehouse 18 in Squirrel Hill; Firehouse 7 in Stanton Heights; Firehouse 17 in Homewood; and Medic 8 in Allentown.
It identifies 10 other facilities in need of major upgrades, new construction, or possibly demolition, though no decisions on those possible actions have yet been made, and will be subject to further study and community input. Those facilities are: Robert E. Williams recreation center; Leslie Pool Building; Oliver Bath House; Cowley recreation center and pool; Chadwick recreation center; Sheraden service building; Dunbar fieldhouse; DPW Fifth Division; Manchester field storage building; and Kennard maintenance building.