Construction to Begin on Connelley Center Project Next Fall
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
State Senator Jim Ferlo and the board of Pittsburgh Green Innovators hosted tours of the former Clifford B. Connelley Vocational School last Thursday in the Hill District, in order to explain the progress that has taken place in their project to turn the former high school into a green center for sustainable education. The Connelley Project will be a major force in Pittsburgh’s movement towards green workforce development.
The Connelley project is organized by a partnership between Pittsburgh Green Innovators, and the developer Pittsburgh Gateways Incorporated, who are currently leasing the building from the school district. The school district had to shut it down in 2004 due to funding issues.
“The building purchase will be finalized in August, once the school board has finished moving all of its equipment out,” explains Deno de Ciantis, director of the Penn State Center, which plans to be an anchor program in the building.
After the purchase is made, the project will enter phase one of building construction. Both PGI and Green Innovators expect it should be completed by Fall of 2011. They intend to develop approximately 190,000 square feet of the facility’s 230,000 square feet.
“Capital fundraising efforts are on track. Upgrades to the building will include deep energy retrofits, the purchase of energy production equipment, and costs associated with LEED certification,” says Senator Ferlo.
Although a wide number of organizations have expressed interest in securing space at the building, de Ciantis says that leasing on spaces will not begin until after the purchase has been made. What de Ciantis and Ferlo are certain about, however, is that using the Connelley building to educate and train students and adults with the skills they need to excel in green job fields is critical to the growth of the green economy in Pittsburgh.
Writer: John Farley
Sources: Deno de Ciantis, Director of the Penn Center
Senator Jim Ferlo
Photograph Copyright John Farley