Pitt to empty Forbes-Craig Apartments, frustrating residents


Kaycee Orwig | Assistant Visual Editor

Forbes-Craig Apartments is located across from the Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland.

By Jon Moss, Editor-in-Chief

Pitt will empty Forbes-Craig Apartments, an on-campus apartment building located at the corner of Forbes Avenue and South Craig Street, by the end of this week to “increase on-campus housing flexibility for quarantine cases and consolidate cleaning and maintenance needs.”

The University announced the change in a Tuesday morning email to the building’s 65 residents, 10 of whom have already moved into Forbes-Craig. All residents will receive new housing assignments in nearby Ruskin Hall by Wednesday morning, and have until the end of the week to move their belongings, with relocation assistance available starting Friday at 9 a.m.

Pitt spokesperson Kevin Zwick said both the 102-student Forbes-Craig and 416-student Ruskin buildings were not at capacity, even with plans to de-densify residence halls due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. He added that the move would allow bed space to be used more efficiently and provide air conditioned rooms for more students.

Michelle Khattri, a sophomore biology major, said the email caught her off guard.

“I was a little bit freaked out,” Khattri, who was originally scheduled to move into Forbes-Craig next week, said. “They don’t really give too much of a reason in their email. I was mostly frustrated that they just now are telling us this.”

Roommates Alexa Spaventa and Tara Schroth said they also ran into issues with Forbes-Craig last week when they originally moved into the building. They said Panther Central would not permit them to spend the night in their apartment after moving in, which Spaventa said forced her to break her shelter-in-place to stay at a friend’s apartment, while Schroth stayed at a local hotel.

Spaventa said it concerned her that the entire building would move out in a condensed period of time, in particular during the pandemic, potentially putting people and their belongings in close contact with one another.

“There’s a pandemic, and to have all of these people moving at the same time from this building into another building, and to have everyone’s stuff kind of together… it’s not fun,” Spaventa, a sophomore computer science and digital narrative and interactive design double major, said.

Schroth, a junior industrial engineering major, said it was not clear to her why Pitt would decide to close Forbes-Craig after students were already moved into the building.

“I don’t know why they didn’t figure that out before the semester started and have us, off the bat, move into our final location,” Schroth said. “I’m very upset and very disappointed… the University is kind of screwing us over.”