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

Fewer Townhouses Pinch Dorm Choices

Although a sizeable number of students in off-campus housing have yet to be pushed back on campus because of the 2010 Campus Plan agreement, some are being shifted from university-owned townhouses to dormitories.

Because 18 Magis Row townhouses on 36th Street will be converted this summer from upperclassman housing to administrative offices and faculty and graduate housing, fewer apartments were available to underclassmen in this year’s housing lotteries.

While 26 apartments in Henle Village were available last year to rising sophomores in the housing lottery, this year only seven groups of sophomores were able to secure Henle apartments. Henle will absorb many of the upperclassmen who would usually have been housed in townhouses.

The university, however, will create 65 more beds on campus before the 2013-2014 academic year begins, a requirement of the campus plan agreement.

According to Associate Vice President of University Facilities and Student Housing Jonalyn Ware Greene, the additional student beds will be created by converting 40 double rooms to triple rooms in New South and Southwest Quad, modifying staff apartments and offices in Henle and Alumni Square for student use, and adding beds to two of the townhouses still available to students.

Some rising sophomores lamented that because of these changes, lottery numbers that would have them in the range of securing a Henle last year only got them a room in the Southwest Quad or Copley Hall this year. Similarly, some rising sophomores whose lottery number would have allowed them to get a room in Southwest Quad last year instead were awarded housing in LXR or Village C East during this year’s housing selection.

Alisha Dua (COL ’16) said she understands that the university must comply with the zoning order, but does not think that it is fair to push more sophomores into LXR next year.

“It is definitely disheartening that more sophomores are being moved off-campus, while [upperclassmen] are being moved back into Henle,” Dua said.

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E Chair Ron Lewis said he perceives the change as a step toward better relations between the Georgetown neighborhood and students. Lewis said this transition is a good step toward achieving the campus plan goal of housing 90 percent of undergraduate students on campus by 2025.

“Because the Magis Row houses on 36th are being turned into faculty and grad student housing and then, ultimately, faculty housing and administrative offices, that will help with the plan to put more of the housing on campus,” Lewis said.

Lewis mentioned that the increased number of student beds in existing dorms is only a temporary solution until new student residencies are built.

“It is part of the plan and, by fall 2015, the dorms will be ready. They are working on it,” Lewis stated.

In March, the university proposed building a new residence hall across from Reiss Science Building to replace an earlier plan that would have repurposed the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center.

Other less likely proposals still on the table include expanding Henle Village or Southwest Quad, purchasing the empty Kober-Cogan Building — which has been vacant since May 2010 because of hazardous levels of mold following a steam leak — from MedStar Georgetown University Hospital or constructing dorms on the parking lot by McDonough Gymnasium or on Harbin Terrace.

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