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Academic Village Transformation

Point Park University Renovations Are First Signs of Academic Village Transformation

Just a few months after Point Park University announced its Academic Village Initiative, a $210 million campus master space plan, the University has completed a $3.5 million renovation of historic Lawrence Hall, as well as a $6.5 million first-phase conversion of 312-322 Boulevard of the Allies to the contemporary Boulevard Apartments for Point Park University upperclassmen.

“The completion of the Lawrence Hall renovation and the introduction of the Boulevard Apartments as a campus living option are the exciting beginning of the Academic Village at Point Park University,” said Paul Hennigan, Point Park University president.  “Creating more academic and social spaces and bringing more of our students to the Downtown neighborhood to live supports the University’s strategic plan and its vision of becoming one of the most dynamic, private urban universities in America.”

In addition to the significant renovations completed this week, this month was a record-setting one for Point Park in terms of enrollment.  The University recorded its largest numbers ever for new students (810), freshmen (522) and total enrollment (3,846).  The University also announced its journalism and mass communication department will become the new School of Communication, offering 10 undergraduate and one graduate degree in journalism, advertising and public relations, digital media, photography, broadcasting, and integrated marketing communications.

Point Park University Campus Renovation Projects

Known as the Sherwyn Hotel when it was acquired by Point Park in 1967, Lawrence Hall was originally built as the Keystone Athletic Club.  One of the signature buildings on Point Park’s growing Downtown campus, Lawrence Hall was designated a historic landmark by the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation in 2007.  This week, the University completed a $3.5 million renovation of the Lawrence Hall lobby, including a grand entrance to the new LEED-certified Dance Complex.  Highlights of the renovation include:

  •      Reconfiguration of the street-level entrance to create gathering space for students and visitors
  •      Three-story stone façade with new windows
  •      New mailing facility and restrooms
  •      Enhancements to The Café, including new windows and additional seating
  •      New second-floor dance studio
  •      Installation of Freedom Bound, a sculpture by award-winning artist Paige Bradley, commissioned by Jack Tomayko, Point Park University Trustee and founder of the Tomayko Group, LLC

Acquired by Point Park in December 2007, 312-322 Boulevard of the Allies will receive a multi-phase conversion into apartment-style campus living for Point Park students.  Phase I of the conversion created spacious, loft-style apartments for 94 students, which include:

  •      Wood laminate flooring and ceramic tile
  •      Four-person or six-person occupancies
  •      Full kitchen and dining area, living area, two or three bedrooms, each with private bath
  •      Cable and high-speed Internet access
  •      Laundry facilities on each floor. 
  •      High ceilings, exposed brick, and large windows
  •      Select rooms have view of Monongahela River

The completion of Lawrence Hall and Phase I of the Boulevard Apartments renovation projects is part of the Academic Village at Point Park University, a $210 million campus master space plan that will transform Point Park University and Downtown Pittsburgh.  The Academic Village is comprised of two key elements – the Student Center/Wood Street Corridor and Pittsburgh Playhouse--that will provide students with academic support areas, green space, recreational areas, residential options, riverfront access, and state-of-the-art theater facilities.