Major Progress in the UPTC!

Since our last blog entry in October, there’s been quite a bit of progress in G-33 Cathedral of Learning, the future home of the University of Pittsburgh Testing Center!

The Demolition Period ended in late November, with a successful deconstruction of the walls, ceilings and floors. MBM Contracting, Inc., a long-time contracting partner with the University, is handling the renovation and construction of the space and got started right after Halloween. These photos, taken in December, show the space in its most bare form.

All parties involved (CIDDE, Facilities Management, RSH Architects, etc.) are making sure that this project supports Pitt’s sustainability initiatives. So all doors, ceiling panels, window shades, metal fixtures and piping were carefully dismantled and stowed away, to be used again during the construction phase.

The space is evolving so quickly that every time we stop in, we’re even more excited about what’s to come! The photos at the bottom of the page were captured by staff visiting the space on Jan. 16.

The first photo shows the metal frame of the private testing rooms. If you look carefully, you can see the outline of the doors!

The next photo shows the framework of the Scanning/Scoring Office, where classroom exams will be processed for grading. Most notable about this office is the natural lighting that it will receive – this is a major gain for Testing Center staff, as their offices in Alumni Hall are enclosed.

Franklin Interiors, the furniture provider, sent a vision board earlier this month, which gave us a glimpse of what the interior setting will look like. It shows the Reception area. Our proctors will greet students upon arrival, then direct them into the Testing Center (visible through tall bay windows) after Registration. Note the entrance to the Scanning/Scoring Office, situated behind the testing administrators. This will help contain the noise that the scanning machines create.

The testing area will be furnished with chairs – chosen by the students! Last year, we asked students to test several chairs for comfort, and they selected a model that will be part of the new area.

Another notable upgrade will be a newly-designed locker system. Lockers will be stacked four-tall and be wider, deeper, and made from laminate material (so no more clanging and banging from metal hitting metal). All lockers will also be equipped with keyless Digi-Locks, or a passcode system where student sets their own passcode to lock/unlock the locker once before it resets.

We’re approaching the new era of academic testing at Pitt! We’ll keep the University Community informed of the progress, but consider this your invitation to the Grand Opening of the University of Pittsburgh Testing Center in May 2014!

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