Seton Hill University (SHU) plans on offering more off-campus living space for students through a new student housing project located in downtown Greensburg on College Avenue. The new apartment building is scheduled to open for the Fall 2015 semester. It will house 58 SHU students, with preference given to juniors and seniors through the annual lottery process. The building consists of 23 two-bedroom and four three-bedroom apartments.
The cost per student will be $750 a month plus utilities, which are estimated at $50 a month. The cost is slightly higher that the cost of a double room in DeChantal and Farrell because of additional amenities in the apartments. Each apartment is fully furnished and has a full kitchen, a washer and a dryer. Students may choose to purchase a meal plan as well.
The project would demolish five houses, four on College Avenue and one on Brown Avenue, that are vacant after being purchased by the Greensburg Community Development Corporation (GCDC) and Greensburg Property Planners LLC. The GCDC sold their newly-purchased lot to the developer for the project. A large, three-story brick building will be built on the property. SHU will lease the building from Greensburg Property Partners and manage the apartments.
“By Fall of 2015, Seton Hill anticipates enrollment growth that will result in the need for approximately 60 residence spaces for students,” said David Myron, SHU Vice President for Finance. “The proposed building project on College Avenue will provide space to fill this need and offer Seton Hill junior and senior undergraduate students a different type of housing arrangement than what is currently offered on campus.”
A 2013-2014 survey conducted by the SHU Psychology Club surveyed 919 SHU and LECOM students about their current housing and preferred living options. The survey showed that many of the students taking classes in the Performing Arts Center and Dance and Visual Arts Center want to live closer to these buildings in a university controlled apartment. After receiving this data, SHU agreed to lease 100% of the apartments within this new apartment complex to meet their students’ wants.
This project will benefit the community of Greensburg, as well. “The impact is positive for three reasons,” said Steven Gifford, executive director at the GCDC. “The new apartment building removes three houses that were in poor condition. The new building will pay a higher total real estate tax to the city, the county, and the school district than the total collected from the five residential houses. The students living in the building will support downtown businesses by purchasing products and services.”
Developer Anthony Flume said the project is on track to be completed by August. The apartments are modular and can be built mostly off-site while the property is prepared. The apartments can then be quickly assembled on the property.