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Byline: Tom Barnes
Jun. 5--They call it "Freddie's building."
Not officially, of course. The new South Side structure, hard by the Monongahela River, has a jawbreaker of a name -- the Center for Sports Medicine of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Health System.
But unofficially, it's known for its most famous occupant, Dr. Freddie Fu, a world-renowned orthopedic surgeon and longtime guru of sports medicine at UPMC.
And when the sports medicine facility opens in September, it will be a place for tending and mending the knees, shoulders, muscles, skulls and even the minds of athletes from high schools, colleges -- including the Pitt Panthers -- and the pros, including the Steelers.
"We want to have the most comprehensive sports medicine and performance clinic in the world," Fu said last week. And, by car or bicycle, "it will be only five minutes from Oakland."
Fu, who rides his bike 100 miles or more per week in good weather, plans to move his sports medicine operations to the South Side from his cramped quarters at Baum Boulevard and Craig Street in Oakland, where he opened his clinic in 1989.
It will contain offices for sports nutrition, sports psychology, physical therapy equipment, a whirlpool for "hydrotherapy," two X-ray rooms and a room for magnetic resonance imaging, a type of X-ray that shows damage to soft tissues such as ligaments, tendons and cartilage.
The MRI room had to be encased in five layers of steel plate, plus a sixth layer of copper, because of how close CSX railroad tracks are to the building.
Without sufficient steel shielding, the trains passing nearby could affect the accuracy of the MRI readings, said John West, project manager for Mascaro Construction Co., which is doing the construction for UPMC.
There also …