By SUSAN JONES
Last year, Pitt leased space in three Oakland hotels to help de-densify student housing during the pandemic. This year, the University will continue to partner with one of those hotels because of an expected surge in enrollment.
The Residence Inn University Medical Center on Bigelow Boulevard will be used exclusively for first-year students.
According to a University spokesman, “Pitt utilized this partner property during the prior academic year and extended this partnership based on the hotel’s quality amenities, customer service and adherence to safety protocols.”
Chancellor Patrick Gallagher reported at the June 25 Board of Trustees meeting that deposits from first-time, first-year students on the Pittsburgh campus were up 23.4 percent from fall 2019, for a total of 5,135 students. While some summer melt is expected, this number is well above the goal of 4,315.
The Residence Inn has 171 rooms with kitchenettes and private bathrooms. The rooms will be fully furnished and have wifi access and on-site laundry.
The hotel, which is a 15-minute walk to campus, will operate like traditional residence halls with a resident assistant, resident director and 24/7 security. Students also will have access to an express shuttle to campus and will be required to have a meal membership along with all other first-year, on-campus residents. Students will have access to a fitness center, outdoor sports court and outdoor seating areas.
Last year, Pitt also leased space at the Residence Inn University Place on Forbes Avenue and Wyndham University Center on Lytton Avenue. The cost of renting the three hotels for the 2020-21 school year was an estimated $22 million. Pitt declined to say the cost of the hotel lease for 2021-22.
Susan Jones is editor of the University Times. Reach her at email@example.com or 724-244-4042.
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