The Community College of Allegheny County Board of Trustees voted Thursday to close CCAC–Downtown Center at 625 Stanwix Street as of Dec. 31, consolidating the center’s courses at CCAC–Allegheny Campus on the North Shore.
“CCAC–Downtown Center has played a valuable role at the college for two decades, but our current funding situation forces us to make this change to preserve affordable, quality education for all of our students,” said William Russell Robinson, board chairman. “Consolidating our facilities will enable the college to realize significant financial savings while still maintaining options for students.”
The total cost of rent and maintenance for CCAC–Downtown Center has been $487,489 annually under a lease that expired Sept. 30. Of that total, $292,863 has been paid by the college and $194,626 by the state. In September, the CCAC Board of Trustees voted to extend the lease on a month-to-month basis through the end of December.
The trustees voted to close CCAC–Downtown Center after the end of the fall 2011 term. The college will preserve the center’s course offerings and scheduling formats in the transition to CCAC–Allegheny Campus, less than a mile away. The majority of the center’s programming has been scheduled during evenings and weekends, times that the campus has been less utilized.
Current CCAC–Downtown Center employees will transfer to other locations at the college. No layoffs are anticipated.
“Although change is never easy, we expect that current CCAC–Downtown Center students will see some benefits from the consolidation at CCAC–Allegheny Campus,” said CCAC President Alex Johnson. “They will no longer face parking fees and will still have convenient public transportation options. In addition, students will now have direct access to the full array of support services available at the campus, including the library, academic advisors, counselors, success coaches and a new science facility that is currently under construction.”
In the past six months, CCAC has faced reductions in state and local support totaling more than $6 million, due mostly to cuts at the state level. The college has implemented many cost-saving measures, including extending a hiring freeze, eliminating open administrative positions, refinancing bonds. In September, the Board of Trustees approved a tuition increase beginning with the spring 2012 term.
Current Downtown Center students should receive a letter in the next two weeks explaining the change.