PITTSBURGH — Duquesne University broke ground in mid-March for a 125,000-square-foot, multi-purpose recreation center. The building is the first stage of a mixed-use development that will serve both the campus community and the surrounding Uptown neighborhood.

“Since its founding in 1878, Duquesne has played an integral role in the Uptown neighborhood, through services, partnerships and community projects,” said Dr. Charles Dougherty, Duquesne University president. “Through this development, the university is pleased to contribute to the revitalization of the area in yet another, even more pronounced way. This first phase, as well as the rest of the project, will benefit students and residents alike.”

Duquesne already generates more than $300 million in annual economic impact on the region; when the construction project is completed, the two-acre development is expected to add tens of millions to that figure, according to the university.

The Duquesne University recreational facility, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2007, will include basketball and racquetball courts, and deck hockey. Other areas will house fitness facilities, locker rooms, exercise and dance studios, a ballroom, kitchen and roof-top deck.

The next phases of the development will include retail on the street level along the entire block, as well as academic and office space.