ANC approves plans for new dorm across from Reiss
Original Post: Last night, the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E unanimously approved the University’s plan to build a seven-floor residence hall across from Reiss Science Building. The construction plan for structure is expected to go through an architectural review for final approval by the Old Georgetown Board tomorrow.
The new dorm will hold 250 beds, which will put the University closer to reaching its goal of housing 450 additional students on campus by 2015—a compromise which administrators and neighbors agreed to in last summer’s campus plan resolution. According to Robin Morey, the University’s vice president for planning and facilities management, the University is already adding 65 beds this summer by bringing people out of Magis Row housing into previously unutilized rooms.
Administrators don’t yet have a plan for where to house the remaining students by 2015. “There’s still more work to do to meet the whole commitment of bringing 450 students back on campus. We are working on that, but we do not have a plan for that yet,” Morey said in an interview with Vox.
The group of architects leading the design of the building has taken several measures to address community concerns toward the aesthetics and sustainability of the new building.
According to Jodi Ernst, associate University architect, the new dorm will be LEED Gold-certified, a standard that ensures a high level of sustainability and energy-efficiency. In addition, the building will feature a green roof, and all the major trees in the area, except one, will be preserved.
Architects have also preserved space for community input in the final design of the new dorm.
“I will be working with the University and their architects to pursue a design that represents the character and heritage of Georgetown and is cohesive with other buildings on campus,” Peter Prindiville, ANC Commissioner for District 8, wrote in an email to Vox. “This is the first of many steps, and I think the most exciting phase of this project’s conceptual growth is yet to come as the University takes the comments of the ANC, community and students into consideration.”
In addition to living space, the new hall will also feature a living and learning zone on the ground floor, which will house both classrooms and student lounge spaces.
Construction of the new residence hall is expected to begin Spring 2014, last for approximately 14 months, and be ready for occupation by the Fall of 2015.
Read the ANC’s full resolution below:
“In regard to OG 13-249 (HPA 13-439) located on the premises of 3700 O St. NW:
Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E thanks the applicant for its bona fide efforts to meet the requirements of the Campus Plan zoning order and applauds the applicant on its quick and well-intentioned work on this project.
We are pleased with the concept design as presented. We believe the plan complements the surrounding structures and adds value to our community.
We are particularly pleased with the applicant’s concerted effort to mitigate the development’s environmental impact on the community by pursuing U.S. Green Building Council LEED Gold Certification and intentionally addressing tree removal. Recognizing the negative impact of storm water runoff in our community, we also support the inclusion of a green roof on the building.
We are also pleased that the applicant is significantly improving the landscape and pedestrian access in its site improvements.
We recognize that this development is of particular significance to this area of our community because it replaces a special space on campus. We aim to maintain the special quality of this space by requesting that the applicant pursue a design that makes the building distinctive to the campus and our community. The inclusion of certain motifs reflecting the University and its heritage on the facade of the proposed building, such as the stone motif on the neighboring Reiss Building and the motifs on Copley and Healy Halls and Lauinger Library, would add particular value to this development and promote cohesiveness among buildings on the campus.
As always we encourage input in all development matters and encourage the applicant to engage local residents.
We believe that this development will greatly improve the student living-learning experience on campus and are looking forward to working with the applicant.”
Photos courtesy Georgetown University