RMU to spend $23 million on upgrades
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Robert Morris University will spend about $23 million over three years on improvements to its Moon campus, including a new multipurpose building, an expanded business school complex and residence hall renovations.
The university yesterday announced it is moving ahead with phase one of a 20-year master plan to guide growth at Robert Morris. The school also said its board of trustees has awarded President Gregory G. Dell'Omo a new four-year contract through May 31, 2012.
The master plan is aimed at building on growth over the last decade that transformed Robert Morris from a largely commuter school to a more residential institution.
"We have become a comprehensive university that draws students from across the United States and internationally," Dr. Dell'Omo said. "The campus infrastructure really has not kept up with that. We really need to ramp that up a bit."
The school's current enrollment of 5,100 students is expected to grow to 5,800 in five years and to just more than 6,000 after two decades, Dr. Dell'Omo said. The number of residence hall students is expected to increase from 1,200 currently to 1,300 by 2010 and to 1,600 by 2013.
Among key projects in the plan's first phase:
• A multipurpose classroom building with 12,000 square feet to house laboratories, classrooms, faculty offices and other facilities, costing $3.9 million.
• Two buildings, each about 4,000 square feet, to be built for $3.1 million alongside Massey Hall, which houses the School of Business and university administrative offices.
• About $1.6 million in upgrades to Hale Center, the university's main classroom building.
• Campuswide residence hall renovations worth $6.9 million and construction of a $1.5 million, 30-bed townhouse-style apartment building.
• A $500,000 lobby renovation project that is part of an ongoing $10 million renovation to the university's Downtown building.
• Creation of an $875,000 ring road around the campus perimeter, intended to make the campus more pedestrian friendly by diverting traffic away from its center.
Dr. Dell'Omo had worked under year-to-year contracts since arriving in 2005. His new agreement is an endorsement of both his vision and accomplishments to date, said Joseph W. Nocito, board chairman.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but Dr. Dell'Omo made $216,347 in total compensation during 2005-06, the most current year available, according to an IRS Form 990 filed by university.
University officials said he has helped Robert Morris focus more on internationalism in student experiences, faculty research and exchanges and academic programs and partnerships. Academic partnerships have been created with schools in Chile, China, Germany, Nicaragua, Turkey and Israel.
First Published June 17, 2008 12:00 am