(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — After years of declining enrollment and low occupancy in residence halls, Edinboro University has made the decision to sell Highlands 7 and 8.

The Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) voted Wednesday to allow the university to proceed with the sale of Highlands 7 and 8, located at 320 Scotland Road and 305 Darrow Road, Edinboro, PA 16444.

According to a sale proposal presented to PASSHE, in the fall of 2021, residence halls at the university had an occupancy of 1,065, compared to the maximum capacity of 1,843, or a 57.8% occupancy rate. The university says this has created financial strain.

Edinboro University outlined in the proposal how the sale of the two buildings will help the school “pay down debt, eliminate certain ongoing operational and facility stewardship needs, and leave sufficient housing capacity for its anticipated future enrollment.”

The university is looking to “sell the property for development, compatible with its mission, while
also improving its financial situation.”

The buildings were built in 2011 on 16.5 acres of land titled to the Commonwealth. The two 70,000 sq. ft. residence halls are owned by the university. Those two facilities have not been in use since spring of 2019, according to the proposal.

Because the property is commonwealth owned, the sale of this property will require an act of the
General Assembly with concurrence and support from the Department of General Services. It
will also require approval of a subdivision plan by the local municipality.