PITTSBURGH – University officials at eight of the state’s 14 public universities are trying to find a way to deal with falling enrollments, less money, and whole wings and floors of dorm buildings.
The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education continues to finalize the details of the merger between a number of the state’s universities as the fall semester rapidly approaches. According to our partners at TribLive.com, the system’s Chancellor Dan Greenstein proposed that $ 12.5 million be allocated this year to pay off dorm building debt. A review of state records found that more than $ 1 billion in dormitory debt remained in 13 out of 14 public universities.
Some schools have done better than others since the turn of the millennium. At Indiana University Pennsylvania officials began a massive dormitory construction and overhaul project from 2006 to 2010, priced at $ 250 million. By 2019, the occupancy rate in IUP’s dormitories had dropped to 68%.
Edinboro University officials embarked on a $ 115 million project to build dormitories and restaurants shortly after the IUD. The occupancy rate fell to 42% by 2019.
In the entire university system, roughly one in five beds was empty.
It is a problem that PSSHE is working to combat, as it is slated to create two new massive institutions by autumn 2022. There are 11 aging buildings slated to be demolished across multiple campuses in the system.
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