Working directly for the University, the
coordinated restoration of the plaza
was essential to the University. The
assessment report and construction
documents were completed to
accommodate the restricted window
Gumberg Library is in the heart of Duquesne University’s campus in downtown Pittsburgh.
The main entrance of the library features a plaza that connects the street level along
Locust Street to the fourth floor of the library. Continued deterioration of the plaza led the
University to investigate repair options for the plaza structure.
A comprehensive report was developed for the University to assess the overall condition
and functionality of the existing plaza. Various repair options and costs were provided along
with architectural and geotechnical considerations. The University decided to proceed with
a complete renovation and partial expansion of the plaza.
Repairs for the plaza included reinforcing of existing steel columns and beams, concrete
foundation stabilization, and cleaning and painting of the existing COR-TEN steel. New
work involved the placement of a new concrete retaining wall as well as new reinforced
concrete slab construction. Architectural features include new railings and benches as well
as a new concrete seat wall.
Since the construction schedule was limited to 13 weeks during the University’s summer
break, timely responses to contractor questions as unforeseen conditions were essential
to the completing on schedule and within budget. This required performing regular site
observations and attended progress meetings to ensure proper construction of the work
detailed in the design documents. This close communication with the contractor also
allowed for the design adjustments to the repairs, leading to successful completion of this