Some townhouses could do with a face-lift

D.J. Shoffstall, Copy Editor

Freshmen probably have realized already that their friends’ dormitories in other halls are comparable to their own. The same is true of Living/Learning Center residents’ rooms.

But, for Pitt-Johnstown’s townhouse inhabitants, their living quarters are unique.

Senior Brian Jurenko said there is a wall-mounted switch in his Highland 6 townhouse with an unclear purpose.

“If you flip up one of the switches in the kitchen it works one of the outlets, but, if you flip up the other switch, nothing happens. None of us knows what the other switch is for.

“That’s not all that doesn’t make sense. We don’t have ceiling lights anywhere in our townhouse either. We had to bring our own lights to plug into the wall outlets.”

The townhouses originally were built six years after the Pitt-Johnstown campus was relocated from the city’s Moxham neighborhood to Richland Township in 1967, according to Robert J. Hunter’s “The Evolution of a College.”

While most of the townhouse complexes match Highland, Woodland townhouses have modern updates.

Housing and Residence Life Director Mark Dougherty said while Woodland townhouses were the first to get renovated, the plan is to renovate all of them.

“We started with Woodland and just planned to go down the line and renovate all of the townhouses, but we don’t have the budget to do the rest of them right now.

“We know what we want to do to the rest, but no formal plans have been made to start on another set of townhouses,” Dougherty said.

Woodland townhouses received new features such as ceiling lights in every room, and light switches coordinated with outlets.

Dougherty said workers also removed a wall that separated the kitchens from living rooms and put in an island where the wall used to be, creating a more open floor plan

The updated townhouses also come with a dishwasher and a microwave, two amenities the other townhouses lack.

In fact, the five yet-to-be-renovated townhouse complexes are the only campus dormitories that do not come with a microwave.

Until there is money in the budget to remodel the rest of the townhouses residents will have to bring their own lights to plug in, buy a microwave and continue to flip a switch in the kitchen that apparently doesn’t do anything.