$360,000 sought for Log Cabin overhaul

Miranda Huber, Contributing Writer

UPJ’s Log Cabin, behind the Wellness Center, was built in 1972 and has offered a stage for musicians like Joan Jett and The Police.

Students used to attend events at the cabin, including the Mr. UPJ pageant, Winter Carnival and Christmas Dinner dances.

It is the only campus building constructed exclusively by students and employees, but the cabin’s use has declined.

The building was closed for a time in the late 1990s and early 2000s and is becoming a furniture storage place and a home for woodland critters, said the Alumni Relations Coordinator Ingrid Kloss.

Kloss and members of the Pitt-Johnstown Alumni Association have been working on a Save the Log Cabin project.

According to the project’s page on UPJ’s website, the goal is to raise $360,000 to overhaul the cabin and get it to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

Renovations are to include compliant restrooms, pathways and three parking spaces, as well as heating and ventilation improvements.

The restrooms are to be housed in a new building addition, which also is to serve as the new entry way.  The renovation budget even makes room for a patio and an outdoor fireplace.

Several organizations have donated and raised approximately $42,000; $20,000 from the Student Government Association.

As an added money saver, professor John McGrath has challenged his Marketing Management students to write up a complete marketing plan for the project.

McGrath said that, by the end of the semester, two groups of students will hand in their proposals to improve plans already in place to renovate the cabin.

According to McGrath, these free marketing plans produced by students will save the project budget from a painful setback that would be thousands of dollars if the Alumni Association hired a professional to do one.

This project aims to restore students’ love for the cabin, according to the Save the Log Cabin webpage.

The Backroads literary magazine staff still makes regular use of the cabin for Open Mic Nights at 6 p.m. every other Wednesday.

Backroads prose editor Marc Schminkey, who attends almost every Open Mic Night, said the cabin is the best place to hold this event.

“I personally love the Log Cabin.  The atmosphere is perfect for [Open Mic Nights] and it’s nice to be out of the way.”

Backroads members have also donated to the Save the Log Cabin fund and plan to do further fundraisers to help the cause.

McGrath said that, prior to starting the Marketing Management project, some students didn’t even know where the cabin was.

This creates another goal for Save the Log Cabin – – to make students aware that they have this little piece of history on campus.