Clyde House opens to promote global living, learning

Clyde House, which aims to foster a global community, includes a parlor on the first floor.  (credit: Braden Kelner/Editor-in-Chief) Clyde House, which aims to foster a global community, includes a parlor on the first floor. (credit: Braden Kelner/Editor-in-Chief) Clyde House includes several other common areas, including one on the third floor.  (credit: Braden Kelner/Editor-in-Chief) Clyde House includes several other common areas, including one on the third floor. (credit: Braden Kelner/Editor-in-Chief) Credit: Braden Kelner/Editor-in-Chief Credit: Braden Kelner/Editor-in-Chief

At the end of the spring semester last academic year, students were invited to apply for housing in a new campus location, Clyde House, located at 624 Clyde St. off Fifth Avenue.

Since then, students have moved into the newly renovated facility that houses students interested in the global community.

The Office of the Dean of Student Affairs has dubbed the house a “Global Living Learning House” in which students with intercultural interests can explore their roles as citizens of the world, according to the office’s website.

Renee Camerlengo, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Clyde House housefellow, described the house as one in which Pittsburgh Carnegie Mellon students and exchange students live together to gain “an increased sense of cultural competency.”

The house has a capacity of 28 beds, according to Director of Housing Services Thomas Cooley.

Currently, the facility is home to students in seven doubles and three triples, as well as a community adviser (CA) responsible for Clyde House, Neville Apartments, and Shady Oak Apartments. The CA has a single room on the first floor of Clyde House, according to floor plans on the Office of the Dean of Student Affair’s website.
Currently, the rooms have both undergraduate and graduate students, according to Camerlengo.

The house contains notable spaces such as an enclosed porch that serves as the house’s entrance and a small fitness area, a kitchen, a parlor common area on the first floor, second and third floor common areas, and a study room on the second floor.

There is an outdoor porch fitted with colorful porch chairs on the front right side of the facility as well.

“You get the suite-style, apartment-style space.... all coming out into community space,” Cooley said of the building. “So it’s a space that gives you privacy but also is very easy to have some intimate, nice spaces.”

Behind the house, the university has repaved a parking lot and the driveway leading to it, which will serve as a space for university vehicle parking.

Cooley said he plans to provide outdoor picnic areas for residents in a plot of land next to the lot to grill and relax.

The renovations to the new housing facility cost the university about $1.8 million, according to Cooley.

Demolition of the building took place in April with a proposed timeline of finishing renovations by Aug. 1. Construction of the new rooms and community spaces began in May, and renovations were completed during Orientation week.

Cooley said that with renovations, Housing Services hoped to capture the nostalgic aesthetics of the previous building, such as a grand staircase leading to the second story, stained glass windows, and multiple fireplaces, while updating the building with a modern look, such as the addition of new wooden floors, overhead lighting fixtures, and bright red back stairwells.

In 2012 Carnegie Mellon purchased a set of properties on Fifth Avenue and Clyde Street from the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, including 624 Clyde St., for approximately $5 million.

The building previously housed the Roselia Center, a nonprofit organization owned by the diocese’s Catholic Charities that helped women and their children find apartments in the area.

Clyde House was established as a new facility where the university can help students to develop as global citizens, a goal that Camerlengo said is a commitment of Carnegie Mellon.

“The aspiration for Clyde House is that half the residents will be from the Pittsburgh campus and the other half of the residents will be exchange students in Pittsburgh for the semester,” Camerlengo said via email. “With robust discussions and activities in the community and guests who will share a global perspective, it’s hoped that students find this to be a learning environment that they enjoy [and] feel connected to.”

A contributing influence to the house’s establishment this semester was the approximately 20 students from Carnegie Mellon’s Qatar campus who study in Pittsburgh each semester, according to Camerlengo. The house was “intended to be able to provide an optimal living experience for exchange students,” she said.

There are currently exchange students from several countries, including Qatar, living in Clyde House this semester.

The house requires students to fill out an application to live in the building, similar to applications for such housing facilities as Henderson Wellness House and the CMU Sustainability House.