Prefrosh Preview: Building developments
For better or worse, the members of the Class of 2017 will not have any new living spaces to occupy at the start of next year. The four freshmen dorms will house virtually all of Georgetown’s freshmen for the foreseeable future. But although freshman housing will not be affected, the University has several important building projects that it will likely complete over the next couple years. Georgetown’s campus is changing.
The impetus for the effort to change spaces on campus is last summer’s Campus Plan agreement between the University and the neighborhood. In the Campus Plan, the University agreed to steadily move students from off-campus housing to on-campus housing, until 90 percent of the student body lives on campus, and to improve campus life for students. The agreement was intended to keep more students on campus and out of the neighborhood.
The biggest project to improve campus life so far is the revitalization of the New South Student Center, which is adjacent to the New South dorm. Plans to renovate the NSSC were in the works for years, and it wasn’t clear what the building would become. Last February, however, GUSA and the administration agreed that a pub would be made in the NSSC.
Plans for the new pub show that it will be spacious and offer a nice view overlooking the river. The pub itself will serve wine, beer, and liquor on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, and there will be some system, either wristbands or dedicated 18+ nights, to include all of Georgetown’s students in the pub’s nightlife. Georgetown bigshot and alum Fritz Brogan (COL ’07) will be the pub’s manager. The Corp will also open a new business in the NSSC that will sell smoothies and salads.
Unfortunately for Georgetown’s student dance groups, construction on the NSSC will prevent them from practicing in the Riverside Lounge during the coming year. Although the improvements to the NSSC include new spaces for the dance groups to practice and the University promises to find temporary practice space, it is not known exactly where the dance groups will practice during the construction on the NSSC.
Georgetown has also recently announced plans to build its next on-campus dorm. In March, University construction planners revealed that the new dorm would occupy the “Northeast Triangle,” the green space across from the front entrance of Reiss. The planned dorm would have semi-suite housing and hold 450 students.
After the ANC approved the plan last week, and more information about what the new dorm would look like became available, many concerns were raised by both students and members of the administration about it, especially concerning the proposed design of the building. The Old Georgetown Board decided to put off approval of the dorm until its next meeting in September.
Following the cries of “it looks like Lau’s and Reiss’ baby” from students and alumni, a group of alumni even started an online petition, calling for the University to rethink the new building completely. Many would like to see a more traditional building, something akin to Copley.
There are also several projects happening off of the main campus. There is a new satellite campus set to open in August this year in downtown, and University Chief Operating Officer Christopher Augostini announced today in an email that “Forest City Washington has asked Georgetown University to partner on a proposal that includes exploring the possibility of expanding the university’s graduate education activities, research facilities” and other jargon-y opportunities at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in upper Northwest Washington.
The two new building projects may turn out successful, but, right now, the overall consensus on them is a resounding “meh.” Just remember to blame it on the Campus Plan.
All images courtesy Joseph Tattoni/ikon.5 architects