Pitt offers temporary housing to students left homeless by PAA
April 12, 2017 2:55 PM
A view of the Pittsburgh Athletic Association in Oakland. Students renting rooms at the PAA building have been without water for a week and electricity went out on Monday.
By Patricia Sabatini / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The University of Pittsburgh has reached out to about 20 students displaced from their rooms at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association in Oakland because of a lack of water and electricity to offer them alternative housing until finals are over.
Pitt is offering to place them in vacant dorm rooms at no charge until the residence halls close after finals on April 30, spokesman Joe Miksch said Wednesday.
The students had been renting converted hotel rooms at the iconic club since last year. They lost water more than a week ago and on Monday, the power went out in the building, presumably because the financially distressed club hasn’t been paying the bills.
In a statement Wednesday evening, the club’s board of directors said that electric service to the building had been restored. The board added that the outage was due to “unforeseen and unbudgeted utility fees related to construction activity at the neighboring hotel.”
“We hope to restore water service to the clubhouse as soon as possible,” the statement said, attributing the interruption to the club’s “attempt to appeal several significant water bills.”
Allegheny County court records show the association is drowning in debt. It has defaulted on a $2.6 million mortgage, and owes hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid tax and other bills. Late last month, the county suspended the facility’s liquor license for failing to pay the 7 percent county drink tax.
The club’s president, Tom Trimbur, has declined to discuss the club’s financial situation. In its statement late Wednesday, the board said it was “working to reposition the 109-year club for its next phase of success with the anticipated opening of a four-star hotel on the clubhouse grounds.”
The club has said it was counting on an undisclosed amount of lease payments from the hotel — which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2018 — to ensure its long-term future.
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