VA Healthcare System breaks ground for research center

September 26, 2011
Pittsburgh Business Times

The VA Healthcare System is scheduled to begin construction on a $27.3 million research office building in Oakland on Monday.

U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at a groundbreaking ceremony that is scheduled for 11 a.m. at the VA’s University Drive center.

The three-story, 100,000-square-foot research facility will include office, lab and support space. Also planned is a rooftop helipad, which will allow VAPHS to accept transplant patients from other medical centers.

The building is scheduled for completion in October 2013. P.J. Dick Inc. is the general contractor, and Architecture Astorino is the design firm.

“When completed, VA Pittsburgh will be able to offer expanded programs and innovative therapies to our veterans,” Dr. Ali Sonel, chief of staff at the VA Pittsburgh, said in a prepared statement. “The new research building will allow our team of investigators to work more efficiently in specially designed offices, laboratories and clinical examination areas.”

A Fisher House will be built next to the research building, where family members of hospitalized patients can stay. The research building is part of a multi-million dollar construction project to enhance the behavioral health and ambulatory care services at the University Drive complex.