Housing Plans Emphasize Safety and Spacing

an aerial view of the Pittsburgh campusEvery Pitt student with a housing guarantee who requested a residence for the upcoming term will receive it—and to help reduce density in residence halls, some students will be making themselves at home in a different setting.

The University will provide student residences in multiple hotels near the Pittsburgh campus under a plan approved today by the Property and Facilities Committee of the University’s Board of Trustees.

The move is aimed at helping to reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission.

“Meeting both of these goals—providing space for everyone who wants it and following the public health guidelines on de-densification—was a significant challenge,” said Matthew Sterne, vice chancellor for business services at Pitt. “Working with the University’s Healthcare Advisory Group and community partners, we have found a solution to expand campus housing. While plans will continue to evolve as we learn more, this is a critical piece of our ability to bring students back to campus.”

Preparing for fall

In accordance with health and safety protocols, Sterne said fewer students will be living in campus residence halls. Suite and apartment-style residence halls, where upperclass students typically live, will not need to be de-densified due to their configurations. A portion of first-year students will live in residence halls, and first-year students who live in hotel residences are expected to be within a 15-minute walk of campus.

These hotels will operate in the same way as campus housing, with 24-hour security as well as resident assistant and resident director staff to provide supervision and support. University shuttle routes will also be updated to provide service to these locations.

Dining services will be available to all students. Newly chosen dining services partner Compass Group is teaming with Pitt to re-envision dining on campus, including the launch of all-new dining concepts and choices, additional remote ordering solutions and expanded to-go meal options for greater ease and convenience.

Panther Central is contacting those students who requested housing with information on how they can reaffirm their commitment and sign a new housing contract, due July 10, 2020. Returning students who selected housing options in the spring can expect to keep those placements. Incoming students will receive room assignments in mid-July, following Pitt’s usual practice.

Panther Central has posted frequently asked questions with more details. Additional information on housing locations will be announced as details are finalized. Pitt also expects to release guidance in the next week on health and safety standards developed by the Healthcare Advisory Group, along with information on plans for flexible operating postures based on prevailing pandemic conditions.