Off-campus apartments ready to open

The College Park Apartments project is under budget and ahead of schedule.

Rachel Logan

The College Park Apartments project is under budget and ahead of schedule.

Rachel Logan, News Editor

College Park Apartments at the corner of Theatre Drive and Schoolhouse Road are now available for spring housing after being closed since July 2013. Renovation began last April.

“We are under budget and ahead of schedule,” said Administration and Finance Vice President Amy Buxbaum.

The project budget was $6.5 million. The Pittsburgh-based company RSH Architects was in charge of the design, and Facility Support Services LLC from Gibsonia, Allegheny County, has been working on construction.

Buxbaum said there are minor aesthetic changes still to take place, including carpeting, painting and refurnishing.

“The (College Park Apartments) renovation is largely a mechanical, electric and plumbing project,” said Buxbaum.

“It’s about the guts of the building. The actual space will experience almost no redesign.”

Each unit is to be equipped with a new heating and air-conditioning system, electrical system and fire-safety system.

“The sprinklers are new.”

First-floor apartment kitchens are to have been upgraded. Upper floors have previously updated kitchens.

Buxbaum said that the building is to have a new roof, as well as an elevator overhaul.

The construction added a wheelchair-accessible room. Other accessible rooms were already being offered while the apartments were open.

Balconies were removed from each apartment, as they had been deemed hazardous.

Buxbaum noted that the parking lot will have been repaved, and its storm-water system updated.

Since the overall apartment building layout is not to change much, there are still to be 140 beds offered, according to Housing Director Sherri Rae.

Two- and four-person apartments are to be offered – a total of 47 apartments.

The four-person apartments include a living area with a dining table, couches and chairs and a full kitchen. They each have two bedrooms with two beds each, but the apartments vary as to how many bathrooms are available, whether one, two or one-and-a-half bathrooms.

These are priced similarly to a townhouse.

The two-person apartments are similar, but include only one bedroom and one bathroom.

These are priced higher than a Living/Learning Center room, but less than a townhouse.

In order to accommodate students who are interested in rooming in these apartments but do not drive, Pitt-Johnstown officials are expanding the shuttle service to run every fifteen minutes between campus and the apartments.

The service is to start at 7:45 a.m. and go until 1:45 p.m., at which point it becomes a stop on the regular service to Wal-Mart until 6 p.m, according to Rae.

Students are to apply in groups as soon as possible. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status Dec. 7, at which point they may choose their specific unit.

Applications are to be chosen based on number of housing credits, similarly to townhouse applications. Those applying from three-person rooms in the Living/Learning Center will be moved to the top of the list, according to Rae.

“We anticipate students applying from the Living/Learning Center and the lodges,” said Rae.

Area Coordinator Dominick DiLoreto said that the Housing Office is to hire three extra resident assistants for the apartments in the spring.

“It’s a very similar set-up to Willow’s,” he said.

Sophomore Marco Morocho, who lives in the Living/Learning Center, said he would prefer that the apartments open next fall, since he already has housing this semester; it would be an inconvenience to move.