Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

New Athletic Center to Be Built in McDonough Parking Lot

2336580393Plans for the Intercollegiate Athletic Center, a new 125,000 square-foot athletic complex, were presented to the Old Georgetown Board Thursday with drawings showing the two-story structure adjacent to McDonough Arena.

The board ─ which is a branch of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts that assures projects in the Georgetown area fit the style of the existing historical architecture ─ expressed disappointment with aspects of the reformulated proposal.

They questioned the way the proposed construction would obscure the main entrance of McDonough, as the drawings depicted the complex filling the parking lot area in front of McDonough. In the current plans, McDonough would face a service entrance of the IAC.

According to Thomas Luebke, secretary to the U.S. Commission on Fine Arts, OGB members also balked at the low height of the building. Some felt that it should be built taller to take advantage of the scarce space on campus ─ a concern that figures prominently into the university’s current 2010 Campus Plan hearings.

According to Luebke, the board disliked the planned glass wall of the building that would face West Road, which runs adjacent to Reynolds Hall.

Additionally, at least one member was concerned about the destruction of a 200-year-old oak tree that stands in the way of the new facility, according to Georgetown Patch.

Plans for the IAC were first submitted to the board in 2007, and the board expressed concerns about the scale of the building at the time, according to Luebke. In response, the university significantly reworked the plans to present anew.

The most recent drawings, revised based on feedback from previous meetings, reduce the building’s size in the original proposal by 35,000 square feet and two stories. Though the members sent Georgetown back to modify its proposal once again, they agreed that this version was an improvement

“This new case was looking somewhat better,” Luebke said. “It was basically a new project.”

Word of newly reformulated schematics for the IAC broke two weeks ago. In the first mention of the project in years, Intercollegiate Director of Athletics Lee Reed announced details in an email update to the university community on Sept. 21.

The email said the structure will house practice courts, locker rooms, team meeting rooms and coaches’ offices for the men’s and women’s basketball programs. Locker rooms for men’s and women’s soccer and lacrosse as well as weight training facilities and training room areas for all varsity athletes are also slated to be built.

In addition, the IAC will house a new student-athlete academic center, auditorium and team meeting facilities for all varsity sports programs. The Georgetown Athletic Hall of Fame, currently located in the Leavey Center, will be moved to the new building.

“The need for the IAC has never been more important than now, and it is the most urgent priority for the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics,” Reed wrote in the email.

The university will now need to come back to the board with a revised design. Once officials back a concept design, they will then approve a more detailed final design plan. According to Luebke, it took the New Science Center and Rafik B. Hariri building almost a year to gain final design approval.

“For a project this big, it’s very common for it to do this concept design several times,” he said.

After the board green-lights the final plan, it must go through a number of other advisory stages before the university can break ground.

University officials could not be reached for comment at press time.

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