The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will dedicate its new, freshman-only residence hall, Livingston Alexander House, on June 15.
The dedication will be held at 4 p.m. at Livingston Alexander House and pay tribute to Dr. Livingston Alexander, who will be retiring as president of Pitt-Bradford on June 30. The public is welcome to attend. Tours of the residence hall will be given following the dedication.
The $17 million, 170-bed residence hall will be unlike others at Pitt-Bradford and designed specifically with first-year students in mind.
“I like to call it the 21st version of the traditional residence hall,” said Dr. K. James Evans, vice president and dean of student affairs.
Currently, all Pitt-Bradford residence halls consist of suites housing two to six students, each with its own living room, kitchenette and bathroom.
“Upper-class students love the suites, but for freshmen living with suitemates with very different schedules, it can sometimes be a lonely experience,” Evans said. “We think the freshman experience can be enhanced when there are greater chances for students to mix and socialize with larger groups of students.”
Alexander House will feature individual double rooms and shared common areas. Each floor will have a men’s and women’s restroom with private shower stalls and changing cubicles as well as a gender non-specific restroom.
A number of lounges on each floor will accommodate various numbers of students from two large common areas, to smaller group study and presentation rooms and small individual study rooms.
Earlier this year, the Pitt-Bradford Office of Residential Life and Housing held a “furniture fair” for students to try out and vote on a variety of fun and functional furniture — from space-age egg-shaped swivel chairs to sleek, colorful, S-shaped couches with a mid-century, Pan Am vibe.
Students plugged into recharging chairs, tested whiteboard configurations and group worktables and monitors before weighing in on their choices for the residence hall.
Students will also have a small fitness room available on two floors.
As students gather in common areas and pass each other in the halls on their way to common areas, there will be more opportunities for social interaction.
All resident students on campus will have access to the common areas in Alexander House, giving all students more space to study, gather and work out.
Pitt-Bradford began work on Alexander House last summer after removing a section of townhouses built in the 1970s. When all of the work is complete, the net gain will be 38 beds.
Soon after the dedication, two more sections of townhouses — Walt Whitman House and Zora Neal Hurston House — will be removed, leaving a large lawn between Alexander House, the Howard L. Fesenmyer House and Rice House.
“This will also create a whole other green space for students to gather, study and play Frisbee or football,” Evans said.
Students will begin occupying the new residence hall with the arrival of freshmen on Aug. 24.