Saturday, September 22, 2007

Light-rail extension to displace SportsWorks

Didn't they know this before? Are they also going to need to knock down Heinz Field too?

I do know that they will need to make drastic changes and move the WEST END BRIDGE if they ever want to get Light Rail to the west and on its way to the airport, as over hyped in broken promises.
Light-rail extension to displace SportsWorks Port Authority of Allegheny County's extension of its light-rail system to the North Shore will displace more than tons of earth.

The transit agency revealed yesterday it will buy and demolish SportsWorks, the Carnegie Science Center's interactive exhibition about the science behind sports.

Pending approval by the Port Authority board at its meeting next week, the agency will spend $5 million for the facility on the North Side. Part of the T station at the end of the new line will occupy the site, as will a set of rails.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

rest of article....

Port Authority would use a portion of the SportsWorks property as an easement for access to the construction site and storage of materials during the project, but that land would eventually revert to the science center.

Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh President David Hillenbrand said SportsWorks will be rebuilt on the grounds of the nearby science center.

"Our intention long-term would be to actually have parking on the current site of the SportsWorks, and we would relocate a new SportsWorks to the other side of North Shore Drive."

SportsWorks will remain open through September 2008, allowing the full run of "Bodies: The Exhibition," a controversial display of plasticized corpses. That exhibit opens next month and runs through May 2008. The Port Authority plans to begin using the site by January 2009.

Dr. Hillenbrand said he hoped to have construction on a new SportsWorks facility begun before demolition of the old building is complete. He said it was too early to tell what a new facility would look like.

"Whenever you build a brand-new facility, you have all kinds of opportunities you don't have when you're maintaining an older one," he said.

The current SportsWorks site -- formerly the home of Miller Printing Co. -- is at Allegheny Avenue and North Shore Drive. The two-story building, constructed around 1902 and acquired in 1992, is across from the science center and Heinz Field. In addition to housing SportsWorks, the building holds a museum workshop and storage facilities.

SportsWorks was constructed for $5 million and opened in 2001. It has more than 60 exhibits, including a rock-climbing wall and trampoline.

Annual attendance is estimated at 400,000, or about 80 percent of the science center's half-million attendees, said Ann Metzger, director of marketing and community affairs for the science center.

It has long been known that the North Shore Connector project, which will extend light rail from Downtown across the Allegheny River, could force SportsWorks to move.

Discussions between Port Authority and the science center began in earnest roughly a year ago when the $435 million project became a reality.

Port Authority Chief Executive Officer Steve Bland said the sale marked the end of real-estate acquisition for the North Shore Connector.

Dr. Hillenbrand said there was no debate about whether to rebuild SportsWorks. He said the exhibition matches one of the museum's "core competencies" of health and medicine.

"It has been a good building for us, and certainly any time you have to go through this change it creates a certain degree of discombobulation that is stressful for an organization," he said. "We feel that we've been fairly compensated for what we have to do."

First published on September 22, 2007 at 12:00 am
Jonathan D. Silver can be reached at or 412-263-1962.