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RMU Announces Ambitious Campus Building Plan

Moon Township, Pa., June 16, 2008 - The Robert Morris University (RMU) Board of Trustees has approved the first phase of a 20-year campus master plan, which calls for dramatic improvements to the University's 230-acre campus in Moon Township.

This initial, three-year phase is now underway and will cost approximately $23 million. The plan will build on the monumental changes that RMU has undergone over the past 10 years, and particularly since becoming a university in 2002.

During that time, the University has added three new academic schools and 19 degree programs, built Joe Walton Stadium and acquired the Island Sports Center in Neville Island. Freshman class enrollment has risen 40 percent since 2002, and the University has hired more than 100 new faculty members.

The capital plan includes:

  • Construction of a 12,000-square-foot building that will house laboratories, classrooms, faculty offices and a simulation center for the School of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Construction of two new buildings for the School of Business
  • Technology and facilities upgrades to Hale Center, the University's main classroom facility
  • Major renovations of the University's existing residence halls, and the construction of new townhouse-style residences
  • Further renovations to RMU's building in downtown Pittsburgh
  • The creation of a loop road to carry traffic around the perimeter of campus, rather than through its middle, in order to create traditional, pedestrian-friendly quadrangles

"We have become a comprehensive university that draws students from across the United States and internationally," said RMU President Gregory G. Dell'Omo. "We are focusing on making the campus much more residential to create a living and learning environment, a community of learners, which will give our students a strong sense of place."

Currently, approximately 1,200 students live at RMU's Moon campus. That number will grow to 1,300 by 2010. By 2013, RMU will have room for 1,600 students - 90 percent of whom will live in rooms that are new or renovated.

The new business school buildings will house the PNC Trading Center and the U. S. Steel Videoconferencing and Technology Resource Center, and will create a School of Business quadrangle surrounding Rudolph Gardens. The PNC Foundation has awarded RMU a $520,000 grant for the creation of the trading center, and the United States Steel Foundation gave $500,000 for the videoconferencing center.

These new facilities will link the business school's undergraduate programs at the Moon campus with its graduate programs at RMU's building at 600 Fifth Ave. in downtown Pittsburgh. Work is in the early stages of a $10 million overhaul of that building, which also houses continuing education programs, the undergraduate Media Arts program, the Center for Documentary Production and Study, and other research and outreach centers.

In March, a new Media Arts Gallery opened on the first floor of the downtown building, and the adjoining lobby is set to receive a $500,000 facelift next year.

"Upgrading our teaching and learning environments has top priority in our plans for an even stronger university," said RMU Provost David Jamison. "Not only are we building new facilities, we are continually upgrading our existing classrooms and labs with state-of-the-art equipment and technology."

RMU recently completed a new softball stadium below the North Athletic Complex. In place of the old field will be a 500-car parking lot, which will help to facilitate the loop road. These changes will allow for more green space and gathering places in the heart of campus.

"This is a planned, organized growth strategy that we know we can achieve and which will contribute to the ongoing transformation of RMU as a leading private, comprehensive university," said Dell'Omo.

Released: 6/16/2008


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