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$22 Million Sustainable Reuse Project Transforms Former Mt. Washington School

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Pop City Media

South Hills Retirement Residence, formerly South Hills High School.

Abandoned for over 25 years and once the location of Mt. Washington’s highest crime rates, the former South Hills High School building at 101 Ruth Street is being reused and transformed into a 160,000 square-foot sustainable and affordable mixed-use community asset as the South Hills Retirement Residence.

“The building fell into terrible disrepair,” says Laura Nettleton, an architect at Thoughtful Balance Inc., who co-designed the building with Rothschild Doyno Collaborative. “There was a lot of water damage and the neighbors were dismayed when their property values fell.”

Working with developers Rodriguez Associates and Sota Construction, the architects installed 106 1- and 2-bedroom apartments for seniors, 22 of which are market rate and 84 that are age and income restricted. The ground floor contains a 7,500 square-foot space that will become a YMCA community fitness center and a 4,500 square-foot space that will become a daycare center.

The architects and developer expect to receive LEED Gold certification for the project, which contains sustainable features like a full-building spray foam insulation and an energy efficient mechanical system. The project team was awarded a grant for alternative energy systems, and there is a 27 kilowatt photovoltaic array on the roof and a gas fueled co-generation plant in the penthouse that generates power on site.

Funding for the $22 million project came from multiple sources, including the Pennsylvania Housing and Finance Agency, the URA, and Allegheny County.

Writer: John Farley
Source: Lura Nettleton, Thoughtful Balance

Image courtesy Thoughtful Balance

Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

100 West Station Square Drive, Suite 450

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: 412-471-5808  |  Fax: 412-471-1633