Administration announces potential delay in Northeast Triangle Dorm, temporary use of Leavey hotel

The University announced Monday that construction of the Northeast Triangle Dorm may be delayed until the fall of 2016, a whole year later than was originally expected. To help fill the gap and meet the 2010 Campus Plan requirement of housing 450 more students on campus by 2015, the administration is considering converting the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center into temporary student housing.

The controversy and discussion surrounding the proposed design, which prompted the University to start a student engagement campaign and update the dorm’s look, accounts for some of the delay. Bureaucratic approval checkpoints from the Old Georgetown Board and the D.C. Zoning Commission, meanwhile, further hamper the start of construction.

“The delay has to do with a lot of factors,” Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson said in an interview with Vox. “It has to do with making sure we get the design right, both from a student perspective and the perspective of the Old Georgetown Board.” Olson added that even the government shutdown also delayed the Northeast Triangle Dorm because it affected the OGB.

According to Olson, however, any possible delay in the dorm’s construction does not change the fact that the University views the Northeast Triangle Dorm and the renovation of the old Jesuit residencies Ryan and Mulledy Halls as its long-term solutions to the Campus Plan requirements.

The Northeast Triangle Dorm designing process or construction will not be rushed to meet the original, expected completion time of fall 2015. “We’re committed to building the right building that’s going to serve our students well in the long-term,” Olson said. “While we are trying to follow a great process as quickly as we can, we are not going to let that compromise the building just for speed.”

Should the University decide to use the Leavey hotel as a temporary solution, only moderate changes would need to be made to it. The University would likely convert only two floors (about 120 beds) to student housing and would add only common rooms, study rooms, and a student laundry area. According to Olson, upon completion of the Northeast Triangle Dorm, the hotel would no longer serve as student housing and would be converted back into just a hotel.

“We know that, over the long-term, [the hotel] is valuable to the University as a hotel for a variety of different parts of the University,” Olson said.

The University will host more student engagement sessions on its current housing options, including Ryan and Mulledy, after the break. Check back with Vox for more coverage on the use of the hotel and whether the Northeast Triangle Dorm actually will be delayed.

Photo: Courtesy of Sasaki Associates

6 Comments on “Administration announces potential delay in Northeast Triangle Dorm, temporary use of Leavey hotel

  1. WILL THE HOTEL DORM ROOMS COME WITH HOUSEKEEPING SERVICE??

    Come on Vox put on your investigative journalism pants

  2. If Georgetown is going to renovate the Ryan-Mulledy-Gervase complex, is it too much to ask that the University rebuild the original peaked roof and dormers in the Mulledy Building? This would restore the building to its original “Federal” style architectural look, and it would once again match Maguire Hall to the east. Take a look at some of the old panoramas of the Quad taken from Key Bridge, or the famous Matthew Brady Civil-War era photos from across the river. Anyone with an eye for architecture can see the original Mulledy roofline was much more balanced and harmonious. As I recall, there was a fire in the 40s, and a major reconstruction was required. The Jesuits, having evidently forgotten Vitruvius’ admonistion: “firmitas, utilitas, venustas,” decreed that the top floor of Mulledy be raised, the handsome federal dormers demolished, and an ugly flat roof installed. It couldn’t happen today because the Quad is probably protected. Come on, GU, restore Mulledy to its original design: it’s never too late to remedy a mistake.

  3. @Didymus

    You’re right–the skyline is historically protected. For the same reason, the university isn’t allowed to renovate the New South exterior to make it look less like a prison iirc.

    In fact rumor has it that it is also the reason that the old Jez Rez remained vacant for the past decade. Since they can’t demolish and rebuild it because it is protected, they would have had to gut it from the inside, which is way more expensive.

    However, I too am a fan of old-washing, and I prefer the federal style of Ryan Hall and New North to the collegiate gothic of Healy. But I guess that is just difference in how we romanticize Georgetown (which, after all is the root of preferring one old-style architecture over another).

  4. @Babs–this “historical skyline” argument is an exaggeration. Yes, architects are protective of what comes before them (including the irrational affection for Brutalist stuctures), but changes have been made to the skyline–Village A, Leo’s, etc. Even the nearby skyline has been radically changed over the last 20 years with the Georgetown Harbor development.

    If New South was found structurally unsound and had to be razed, it’s not like the OGB would demand Georgetown rebuild it with the same 1950’s design. But Georgetown isn’t covering up New South because that would be a waste of money.

  5. @Babs

    Actually, it was even worse: the complaint made by some at OGB was that the initial plans for the IAC did not look ENOUGH like a gym!

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