With the addition this fall of Lester and Barbara Rice House, which can house109 students, Pitt-Bradford now can accommodate 1,028 students on campus. However, there are around 20 additional students who want to live on campus this fall. Instead of turning those students away, university officials have partnered with the Best Western to provide rooms so all of those students who want housing will be accommodated.
“We are pleased that so many more students want to live on campus,” said Dr. Livingston Alexander, Pitt-Bradford’s president. “We attribute that increased desire, in part, to our comfortable residence halls and the vibrant campus life we offer our students. We know this to be true because more students living in the region, who could commute, are opting to live on campus instead.”
Another reason for the increase in on-campus living is more students are coming to Pitt-Bradford from hometowns farther away, a change that has been occurring gradually over the past several years. For example, in the fall of 2005, 52 percent of students lived in McKean, Elk, Potter, Cameron, Warren, Forest or Cattaraugus County in New York, enabling them to commute; the remaining 48 percent lived in counties farther away.
However, this fall, only 40 percent of students are from those regional counties; the remaining 60 percent are from outlying counties and areas even farther away, including Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., New York City, and several counties in New Jersey and Maryland, creating that increased need for on-campus housing.
That gradual increased demand prompted university officials to develop a master housing plan several years ago, which includes two additional residence halls. However, those two other residence halls, as is the case with all new construction at Pitt-Bradford, will need to be approved by officials at the University of Pittsburgh before any construction begins.
“The overflow in campus housing should not be interpreted as an inability to plan for the future,” Alexander emphasized. “We have a comprehensive long-range housing plan that takes into account several factors, including population decline in our region and more aggressive marketing and recruiting in distant markets. We will continue to remain cautious about over-building, which would result in empty residence halls.”
Having empty residence halls is a situation some universities in Pennsylvania are facing this fall.
This is the fifth time the university has partnered with the Best Western to house students. This fall, the university will be using rooms at the Best Western to accommodate approximately 20 students, two Resident Advisors, positions held by upperclass students; and one live-in resident director, a staff member, who will all provide support for the students.