in the Hill District — Pittsburgh
Miller for pre-K through 5th grade
and Pittsburgh Milliones/U Prep for
grades 6 through 12.
Parents also may consider navigating the public-school system’s
magnet school application process;
Ebony Pugh, public information
officer for the city schools, says the
magnet application process isn’t difficult, and many students are accepted to schools of choice. Or parents
may apply to religious schools or a
private school such as Shady Side
Academy, the Ellis School or Falk
Laboratory School on the University
of Pittsburgh campus.
Durst says she isn’t concerned
about finding a good school for her
son once he nears kindergarten age.
“I went to private school,” she says,
“so I guess I’m more of a private-
With tuition easily exceeding
$10,000 per school year per child,
however, Pittsburgh’s private schools
may prove too expensive for some
Valentine also points out that
kids like to be around other kids.
Living downtown with only a
handful of other youngsters nearby
works for some but can be lonely for
others. Sports-minded kids can join
organizations such as Squirrel Hill’s
Dynamo Soccer, which admits children from any area community. Still,
that’s not quite the same as playing
on a soccer or baseball team with
neighbors and schoolmates.
For other families, the lack of a
large supermarket downtown may
be a deal-breaker. More than one-
third of those the PDP surveyed say
their least favorite thing about living
downtown is not having a nearby
Valentine, however, noted the
drive time to a large store is the
same for people who live in the
suburbs, and he believes a small
store can satisfy residents’ immediate needs.
In the fall, the PDP announced it
was collaborating with Giant Eagle
on a feasibility study, conducted by
a third-party, for a downtown location, but no plans are final. Falbo
notes he, Ernie and Julian Vallozzi
and David Priselac Jr. plan to add
a small, upscale grocery store this
Kathleen Durst says she is
surprised to learn the lack of a gro-
cery store is a drawback for some.
Technology, she says, has already
solved this problem: She shops for
produce by walking to the Strip, and
grocery that requires a drive. She
gets nearly everything else — paper
towels, diapers and other nonperish-
able household necessities — from
online vendors with free shipping.
Still, the question remains: Will
downtown prove so appealing that
the newest generation of parents
will find ways to surmount these
What’s Already Working?
The advantages of downtown living — especially for families — keep
increasing. Waldrup says day-care
centers are plentiful. Numerous
colleges and universities that dot the
city offer access to a pool of potential babysitters.
Green space has steadily im-
proved: Point State Park is popular
with families, though some parents
wish for more playgrounds. At the
Left: This room
belongs to the Dursts’
Right: The Dursts’
apartment has a
to the hallway and