Pitt announced Thursday that parts of the Victory Heights plan unveiled two years ago are moving forward.
Athletic director Heather Lyke revealed the Victory Heights plans to the public back in 2020. They included improvements to 16 of the 19 programs at the university, excluding soccer and men’s and women’s basketball, in terms of the facilities where they train and play. The completion of Victory Heights will improve Pitt Athletics’ overall facilities and make it a much bigger draw for better players and coaches than ever before.
Pitt Wrestling coverage on Pittsburgh Sports Now is sponsored by Pittsburgh Wrestling Club.
They completed the first part of the project, which included adding a third floor to the Petersen Sports Complex, in 2021. This moved the men’s and women’s soccer, baseball, and softball offices from the Fitzgerald Field House to the third floor so they would be closer to where they played.
The latest published news relates to the arena and the Sports Performance Center. The athletics department received approval from Pitt’s Property and Facilities Committee to begin groundbreaking and construction. This center will be on the lawn of the old Petersen Events Center, which is already being worked on.
The project will cost around US$240 million and will include both a performance center and an arena. The 16 programs will utilize the Center of Excellence in Nutrition, Strength and Conditioning, Mental Wellbeing and Sports Medicine to support their game 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 the Fitzgerald Field House.
The ground-breaking ceremony for the arena and the sports performance center will begin in winter 2023, i.e. early in the year. Pitt showed a new view of the complex and how it fits into the hills and current upper campus environment in September. Pitt expects the complex to open in spring 2026.
Pitt received a $1.25 million gift from the Matrcheck family in 2020 for the new strength and conditioning facility at 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 ribbon complex. Plans call for this complex to be located on the hillside terrace off Robinson Street below the Cost Center where the Pitt Sports Dome is currently located. The design phase for the building began in spring 2022 and is scheduled to open in spring 2025.
Pitt also plans to build a lacrosse stadium for the women’s lacrosse program, which began play in 2022, but has not announced any specific plans as of yet.
Other projects currently taking place adjacent to Victory Heights include the new student recreation center and a chilled water facility.
The Student Recreation Center is still under major construction, which has seen the demolition of the O’Hara parking garage and the LRDC building on O’Hara Street. This will move facilities at the Petersen Events Center and the east wing of Trees Hall to this new complex, allowing Pitt Athletics to build on and change things.
The cold water system opposite the Petersen Events Center is currently under construction. Workers assembled the final section of the cooling tower this week, meaning they have completed the frame of the building, but there is still some time to go.