Yorktown renovation transforms hotel into home for residents


Over the summer, Yorktown Hall has made many renovations to improve its residence experience. Last year, RMU took over the Holiday Inn and made it an entirely residential functioning dorm.  Housing 501 students this year, changes were made to accommodate so many students.

The shuttle system to and from campus has changed to be more frequent and the stop has been changed to the front of the building. Additional parking at Yorktown is now also available for students.

Freedom Cards will need to be swiped in order to get into the residence towers and rooms at all times for security purposes. There will also be a police officer on duty at all times, as well as a public safety office across from the lobby.

There is more to Yorktown than just increased security and a more frequent shuttle however, it is now much more attractive to students because of new additions and upcoming ones. Some of the major changes and new amenities include removing the pool and adding a fitness room, adding several lounge and work areas, and looking to add a brand new dining hall.

The fitness center, one of Yorktown’s largest investments, is going to be located where the pool was last year and is expected to be done some time in October. The new fitness center is a 3500 sq. ft. space dedicated to cardiovascular, select plate-loaded equipment and free weight equipment. The new fitness center will feature more cardio equipment and improved free weight equipment.

“I can’t think of another residence hall in Western PA that would have a full fitness center,” said Armand Buzzelli, director of campus recreation.

“We really want this to be a destination for students to come to off campus,” said Buzzelli.

With Jefferson being the only gym on campus, the addition of the fitness center will hopefully help decongest the activity in the Jefferson fitness center.

Yorktown has also added several lounges and study areas on the first floor. The main lounge has plenty of seating, two brand new pool and foosball tables, and two flat screen televisions. The yearbook, honors program, nursing students, and the fraternity AXP all have their own designated lounges.

“On the first floor, we have a room dedicated to printing, a room dedicated to the nursing program, the honors program, and a room for the yearbook staff to congregate and work,” said Anne Lahoda, Director of Housing for Residence life.

With the addition of lounges and workrooms residents at Yorktown won’t be confined to their dorm room when it comes time to study.

Lastly, a new dining hall is being built in the basement of Yorktown and is expected to be open sometime in October. Until the new dining hall opens, the cafeteria on the first floor will be open from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday offering dinner options. Also, the first floor dining hall will be open in the morning and will serve free complimentary breakfast. Students will have to swipe their freedom card for breakfast but no charge will be deducted from their meal plan. Once the new dining hall opens the old one on the first floor will close.

“The new dining hall is going to be a really cool location, it’s going to have great food, with a Burgatory type menu, entertainment, and will be open late… We think this will be a great place that is different from any other dining location on campus,” said Lahoda.

All RMU students will have access to the new amenities Yorktown has to offer from 8 a.m. until midnight by swiping their Freedom Card. After those hours, they will only be available to Yorktown students.

“Right now we are going in a really positive direction and making sure we are really student focused so we are meeting student needs,” said Lahoda.