Art Institute of Pittsburgh may have potential buyers |

Art Institute of Pittsburgh may have potential buyers

Bob Bauder
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh’s old building in Downtown.

A federally appointed mediator has halted the closure of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and says he has two potential buyers interested in acquiring the Strip District-based school.

Dream Center Education Holdings, which bought the art institute in 2017, filed for federal receivership in January, citing $41 million in debt and declining enrollment. A federal court in Cleveland subsequently appointed Mark Dottore to take over Dream Center’s assets.

He said two companies have expressed interest in buying the 98-year-old school, one of which owns colleges in other parts of the country.

Dottore, a Cleveland-based professional receiver, mediator and crisis management expert, said the school would remain open and that existing students would be permitted to complete their education there or with a partner institution. Dream Center intended to close the school on March 31.

“One thing I can assure you is I care about getting these students either in a safe landing spot or somewhere they can finish their education,” Dottore said. “I’m working with the landlord now to keep the actual school in place. The worst-case scenario is I would find another school to partner with so they could (finish their education). I will not leave them alone.”

About 230 students attend classes at the Art Institute’s Strip District campus. Another 1,924 take online classes through the school.

He plans to keep students in their current location on Penn Avenue and move all other operations, including a call center for online classes, to a building in Robinson.

“The school’s going to remain where it is, at least that’s my plan,” he said. “Moving forward, I wish I could tell you. I’ve only been there 14 days. I just finished putting out most of the fires. Now I’m working on restructuring it.”

He said a nondisclosure agreement prevented him from naming the potential buyers.

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or via Twitter @bobbauder.

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.