Posts Tagged “1789 Block”
On Friday, Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson sat down with members of the campus press to discuss the new elements of the 2010 Campus Plan in the final draft that the University released earlier this week. Vox brought those to you Friday morning—you can check them out here.
Also, don’t forget to go to tonight’s Final community meeting on the 2010 Campus Plan if you want to speak up. It’s the last chance you’ll have to comments on the plan before the University finalizes it and submits it to the Zoning Commission late this spring or early this summer. It’s from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Georgetown Visitation in the Heritage Room—the first building on the left through the gates of Visitation, on the second floor, at 1524 35th Street.
Here’s what Olson had to say on some of the bigger new elements:
On the University hiring 3 additional Metropolitan Police Department officers to patrol areas where Georgetown students live on Thursday through Saturday nights, Olson said that while they would “provide some sort of a calming presence in terms of noise and activity on the streets,” first and foremost, they were there for safety purposes.
“I do want to make the connection up front that between this additional police presence and safety,” he said, adding that this partly reflected the University’s response to recent crimes. “This is certainly not only for campus plan reason but for safety reasons. They will be assigned to areas around campus where students move and live on some key weekend nights. Their focus is, number one, on safety, and we do believe that they will be helpful.”
The additional police forces will begin to patrol the area this week, he said.
Olson also said that the two Community Advisers who will live in non-Georgetown housing near students, one in Burleith and one in West Georgetown, are meant to help “set a context” for students living near neighborhood residents, and build relationships between students and neighbors.
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Posted by: Molly Redden in News, Vox Populi, tags: 1789 Block, 2010 Campus Plan, Burleith Citizens' Association, CAG, Georgetown Neighborhood, Lenore Rubino, Parking, Sustainability, The Burleith Community Fund, Traffic
It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Right?
On Thursday, Georgetown University publicly released the final draft of its 2010 Campus Plan (PDF), which it will present to the community on Monday, April 26. Administrators have already presented most of the plan to Georgetown residents in a series of community meetings in November—Transportation, the 1789 Block, and Housing, Enrollment, and Off-Campus Life, but at least a few things have changed in this final draft—we’ve listed them below.
Meanwhile, the neighbors have been gathering their forces to fight the campus plan once it goes before the Zoning Commission for approval, where it will be studied at length by the Office of Planning.
Both the Citizens Association of Georgetown and the Burleith Citizens Association are raising funds to hire urban planners and zoning experts to counter the findings and testimony of Georgetown University’s experts, influencing the Office of Planning report and the Zoning Commission’s ruling on the plan. BCA President Lenore Rubino wrote in an e-mail to the Burleith listserv that in the last three weeks, the BCA has raised $4500.
In any event, here’s what’s new or has been clarified in the 2010 Plan:
- The convocation center, which would have been built on the McDonough parking lot for events like graduation, has been removed from the plan.
- The two staffers who will live near students in off-campus, non-Georgetown housing and act as Resident Advisers will start work this August. The summer SNAP car that Georgetown is funding will be patrolling neighborhoods this June.
- Three additional MPD officers will be hired through the reimbursable detail program to patrol “higher activity areas” on Thursday through Saturday nights.
- The University has scaled back its plans to develop the 1789 block, where it will build graduate housing. Instead of building housing for 250 – 300 students, the new apartments will house 120 students. The structures will be three to four instead of five stories high. Ten percent of the 80 parking spaces under the structure will be reserved for resident use. The retail the University planned for that area—like a coffee shop or a dry cleaner’s—will take up 8,500 square feet instead of 26,000 square feet.
- The University had originally proposed 1,000 new parking spaces for University and Hospital use. They are now only proposing 700 new spaces.
- Georgetown will explore the feasibility of getting a ZipCar station located closer to campus, potentially near the main gates.
- A quadrangle will be built between the Hariri Building and the new science center.
- Georgetown will explore adding new solar panels to campus buildings and “wind spires for on-campus outdoor lighting”
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When University officials spoke to neighbors in May and raised the possibility of building a new housing complex on the “1789 Block” (the area between Prospect and N Streets and 36th and 37th Streets), neighbors said they didn’t want to see undergraduates living in that area. So the University decided the new residences would be for grad students and faculty. When officials at the May meeting said they were hoping to put 200 to 250 beds in the complex, neighbors said that would be too much density. So the University lowered the projected number of beds to 120.
Even with the concessions, though, neighbors still aren’t enthusiastic about the proposal, which was presented Monday night by University Architect Alan Brangman. While there were some quibbles about the specifics of the plan, most of the objections stem from one essential conflict: many neighbors don’t believe the land the University owns outside the front gates counts as “on campus;” University officials do. And so does D.C.: Georgetown University’s legal boundaries, as defined by the the National Capital Planning Commission, include portions of four blocks West of the front gates.
“It’s a misnomer and it’s a deception,” one neighbor said of the University’s practice of defining the campus as including these areas beyond the front gates. “They [the students] are living amongst us! They’re on the left of us, in the front of us, on the side of us, and they’re in the back of us … They’re not really within your gates, although you’re hiding behind the fact that [the boundaries were] approved.”
Brangman was having none of it, though.
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Posted by: Juliana Brint in News, Vox Populi, tags: 1789 Block, 2010 Campus Plan, Dupont Circle, Georgetown, GUTS Buses, Karen Frank, Parking, Town-Gown Relations, Transportation
The proposed loop road and new GUTS routes
The last time University officials discussed the transportation aspect of the 2010 Campus Plan back in May, they said they were tentatively planning to send the Dupont GUTS bus through the Canal Road entrance, meaning the shuttle route would be extended to the experimental 4.7 mile test route permanently. At last night’s meeting presenting the University’s first draft of its transportation plans, University officials made it clear that the rerouting isn’t just tentative—it’s now part of the University’s preferred draft plan.
Vice President for Facilities and Student Housing Karen Frank, who presented the University’s transportation plans to neighbors last night, explained that Georgetown would like to build a loop road on the west side of campus (as illustrated above) which would allow more buses to use the Canal Road entrance.
When the University requested the rights to build the Canal Road entrance in its last ten year plan it promised neighbors that the new entrance would be used for GUTS buses. Georgetown students, faculty and staff have been spared from the extended route thus far thanks to the fact that the current set-up of the parking lot near McDonough makes it nearly impossible for buses to turn around on campus.
The other problem is that between 6:15 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. on weekdays—prime rush hour time—drivers are not permitted to make left turns off of the Canal Road entrance. If the University could get the left-turn prohibition lifted and build the loop road, all buses besides the Wisconsin Avenue route would be able to enter and exit through Canal Road.
The potential roadblock for the plan is the Park Service, which owns the land west of campus that abuts the proposed loop road. While the road would be on GU property, the University has an agreement with the Park Service to only use that part of campus for service vehicles. Frank said she is pushing for the definition of “service vehicles” to be any vehicle “dedicated to the University,” which would include GUTS buses. However, Frank said, the Park Service is “not real easy to work with.”
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