Seton Hill University, where enrollment has grown 60 percent over the last decade, has played a significant role in adding over $90 million to the region’s economy through the construction and renovation of new and existing facilities.

Within the last five years, Seton Hill’s growth, in particular, has had a direct impact on the revitalization of the City of Greensburg through the construction of the new Performing Arts Center in downtown Greensburg, creation of the Visual Arts Center in downtown Greensburg, the addition of the Seton Hill University Center for Orthodontics at Bishop Connare Center in Unity Township, and the addition of a location of the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) on the University’s campus (LECOM at Seton Hill). An economic impact study conducted by LECOM shows that medical school students add approximately $37,500 per student to the local economy annually.

Since 2005, Seton Hill has invested more than $60 million in new construction, renovations and new technology initiatives. Projects include:

Performing Arts Center
-$22 million in construction
-73,000 square foot facility for Theatre, Dance, and Music Programs
-635 new jobs (permanent and temporary) as a result of construction spending
-$7 million in total wages for non-construction jobs
-over $350,000 in new state and local taxes
-over $1 million in annual visitor spending.
-$10.6 million added to the region in direct spending (construction materials, professional services, labor) with an additional $7.6 million in indirect spending
Visual Arts Center
-$2.5 million in renovations
-Large painting and drawing studios
-Houses Art Therapy Program

Center for Family Therapy
-$500,000 in renovations to equip the facility to meet the needs of the Center
-30 graduate students participate in the Marriage and Family Therapy graduate program, which is housed in the Center
-Center provides family therapy services to Greensburg community

Center for Orthodontics
-$1.5 million in renovations to facility located at Bishop Connare Center in Unity Township, Pa.
-Capacity for 36 residents and fellows

Katherine Mabis McKenna Center
-$6.8 million in construction
-44,000 square-foot facility
-Home of the Salvitti Gymnasium
-Aerobics and fitness rooms, weight facility, locker rooms, two intramural courts, running track, athletic training facilities and athletic department offices

Farrell Hall
-$6.5 million in construction
-Residence hall housing 113 students
-2 story hall has 4 and 6-person occupancy suites

DeChantal Hall
-$6.5 million in construction
-Residence hall housing 140 students
-2-story hall has 4-person occupancy suites

Athletic field house and new fields
-$5 million in construction
-Serves University’s 20 athletics teams and sporting events

Technology enhancements
-$8 million in technology improvements
-Completely wireless campus
-Quadrupled internet bandwidth
-Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP)
-On campus Apple Certified Service Center
-Every full-time fall 2010 incoming and existing undergraduate, graduate, and Adult Degree Program student received an iPad

Campus Roadway and Parking Enhancements
-$3 million in construction and improvements
-New parking lot currently under construction
-Roadway enhancements

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) at Seton Hill has also made investments that have a positive impact on the local economy.
-Seton Hill facilities to accommodate the medical school were renovated at a cost of approximately $6 million.
-On July 26, 2010, LECOM at Seton Hill welcomed a new class of 110 medical students to the Greensburg location. They join 101 second year medical students.
-LECOM at Seton Hill significantly increased the number of adult students looking for housing in the area. This increase prompted the construction of three new residential housing projects in the City of Greensburg.
-An economic impact study conducted by LECOM shows that medical school students add approximately $37,500 per student to the local economy annually.

Don Francis, president, Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP) noted, “Private education continues to grow in importance as an industry, as an employer and as an engine of prosperity in towns throughout the Commonwealth.”

Seton Hill University Board Chair, Michele Moore Ridge, added, “Seton Hill received recognition from the Brookings Institute as a model program for the way universities can drive economic development in communities. The University understands the tremendous value of partnership and collaboration in creating a robust campus community for our students and indeed, for our neighbors in the City of Greensburg.”

The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP), the only statewide organization that serves exclusively the interests of private higher education within the Commonwealth, exists to complement and support the work of campus leaders. With a membership of 87 private colleges and universities within Pennsylvania, the Association provides a variety of services and programs tailored specifically to the needs and situation of independent higher education. The independent higher education sector is the largest of Pennsylvania’s four sectors of higher education. More than 284,000 students attend independent colleges and universities in the Commonwealth, accounting for 41 percent of all enrollments. These private colleges and universities also account for 50 percent of all degrees awarded in Pennsylvania. A list of AICUP’s member colleges and universities is included on its website at

Every five years, AICUP conducts a study of the community and economic impact of its member institutions. The aim of the Economic Impact Study is to measure and highlight the many economic, educational and community benefits of Pennsylvania’s independent colleges and universities. The results of this survey are also intended to inform legislators, and the general public, about the economic and social benefits to a specific community resulting from the presence of an independent college or university.