Pitt announced on Thursday that parts of the Victory Heights plan unveiled two years ago are moving forward.
Athletic Director Heather Lyke showed the public the Victory Heights plans back in 2020. They entailed improvements to 16 of the 19 programs at the university, excluding football and men’s and women’s basketball, in terms of the facilities used to practice and compete in. The completion of Victory Heights will improve facilities as a whole for Pitt athletics and make it a far bigger draw for better players and coaches than ever before.
They completed the first part of the project, which included adding a third floor to the Petersen Sports Complex, in 2021. This moved offices of the men’s and women’s soccer, baseball and softball from the Fitzgerald Field House into the third floor so that they would be closer to where they played.
The most recent news released is on the Arena and Sports Performance Center. The athletics department received approval from Pitt’s Property and Facility Committee to begin groundbreaking and construction. This center will sit on the old Petersen Events Center lawn, which is already undergoing work.
The project will cost around $240 million and includes both a performance center and an arena. The 16 programs will use the performance center for nutrition, strength and condition, mental well-being, and sports medicine to aid their play and health.
The arena will have a capacity of 3,000. Volleyball, wrestling and gymnastics programs will use this arena as their new home, replacing Fitzgerald Field House.
Groundbreaking on the Arena and Sports Performance Center will start in the winter of 2023, early on in the year. Pitt displayed a new view of the complex in September and how it fits into the hillside and current surroundings on upper campus. Pitt expects the complex to open in spring 2026.
Pitt received a $1.25 million gift from Matrcheck family in 2020 for the new strength and conditioning facility within the Arena and Sports Performance Center. The generous gift makes the facility the Matrcheck Family Strength and Conditioning Center.
The Victory Heights project also includes a new indoor track and field and band complex. The plans situate this complex on the hillside terrace on Robinson Street below the Cost Center, where the Pitt Sports Dome currently is. The design phase for the building began in spring of 2022 and plans are for it to open in spring 2025.
Pitt also plans to build a lacrosse stadium for the women’s lacrosse program that started play in 2022 but has not revealed specific plans to this point.
Other projects occurring right now alongside Victory Heights feature the new student recreation center and a chilled water plant.
The student recreation center is still undergoing major work, where construction tore down the O’Hara parking garage and the LRDC building on O’Hara street. This will move facilities in the Petersen Events Center and the east wing of Trees Hall to this new complex, allowing for Pitt athletics to build on them and change things around.
The chilled water plant, which sits across from the Petersen Events Center, is currently undergoing construction. Workers put the final section on the cooling tower this week, which means that they finished building the frame of the building, but there is still some time to go.