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Seton Hill to build first new residence hall in more than a decade

Jacob Tierney
| Tuesday, March 13, 2018, 4:36 p.m.
Fifty-three students from 22 foreign countries are enrolled at Seton Hill University in Greensburg for the fall 2017 semester.
Fifty-three students from 22 foreign countries are enrolled at Seton Hill University in Greensburg for the fall 2017 semester.

Seton Hill University is planning to build its first new residence hall in more than a decade, with beds for about 145 students.

The campus has fewer than 800 beds available, which is not enough to meet demand, said vice president for student affairs Rosalie Carpenter.

“Demand and desire to live on campus is high, and our enrollment is continuing to trend in a positive direction,” she said. “This year, we actually had to lease spaces off campus because we had so many students interested in living on (campus).”

A record 430 freshmen enrolled at Seton Hill for the fall 2017 semester.

Some students live in apartments in downtown Greensburg leased by the university because of the lack of campus living space.

Work on the new building is expected to begin in the summer and wrap up in time for the fall 2019 semester.

The design of the building is still in progress, and an estimated cost has not been determined, according to college officials.

It most likely will be three stories tall, Carpenter said.

Pittsburgh firm PJ Dick will design and construct the building. The firm recently built an expansion at Seton Hill's Lowe Dining Hall.

The last living space built on campus was DeChantal Hall, built in 2005.

The new residence hall will be built near DeChantal, Brownlee and Farrell halls on the northwest corner of campus.

“It will kind of complete what I'm calling a residential village feel,” Carpenter said.

Greensburg City Council on Monday unanimously approved the site plan for the residence hall. City officials support the project, though they are concerned that a push toward more on-campus housing could damage their efforts to encourage developers to build off-campus apartments, said planning director Barbara Ciampini.

“It's good for Seton Hill; the economics of it make sense for Seton Hill. But I guess I'm a little discouraged because our efforts for developing upper-story housing was mostly for students,” she said.

The city will continue its efforts to woo housing developers, she said.

“The trend is good for urban living,” she said.

Carpenter said having more on-campus housing will be better for students.

“Students that live on campus tend to be more involved. They really do benefit from a peer group,” she said.

Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6646, or via Twitter @Soolseem.

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