The university announced the first draft of the 2010-2020 Campus Plan yesterday in a meeting with student media. The plan will focus on the quality of community and academic life, civic engagement and sustainability.
The second draft of the plan will be presented to the Zoning Commission by the end of January 2010 after the university incorporates community feedback. The Campus Plan should be approved by the end of 2010, according to Todd Olson, vice president for student affairs.
According to Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Aaron Golds (COL ’11), the university is working with the neighborhood to make sure the involvement of Georgetown residents is greater than it was during the drafting of the last campus plan.
“If [residents] do decide to come out against it, we can’t make that decision for them,” Golds said.
“We’ll certainly just try to work with them and try [to] go through and make it really positive and quick.”
The new plan looks to renew three main construction projects – a multisport facility, an athletic training facility and a new science building – from the last campus plan, introduced in 2000. The construction of the new science center has been put on hold for financial reasons, according to university spokesperson Julie Bataille. The university is looking into federal stimulus funding and will have further details on the future of the project in the spring.
Olson said the new science center is the most important construction priority in the campus plan because the university is focusing on the improvement of the science program as part of its academic mission.
The renovations and construction of athletic facilities will be mainly geared toward varsity athletes, but will also include space available to all students on campus. The university is no longer looking into building a large convocation center with the capacity to accommodate crowds for large events due to concerns from the surrounding community, but will instead work on more modest expansions and better practice facilities, Olson said.
“This plan does not contemplate returning men’s basketball to campus,” Olson said of the expansion in athletic facilities. “We still, with that said, want to have high-quality practice facilities.”
New construction projects outlined in the campus plan include an expansion of Lauinger Library, a student center in New South Hall and housing for graduate students located near the intersection of 36th and Prospect Streets.
Olson said the expansion and renovation of Lauinger Library is a priority in terms of academic goals.
“We know Lauinger is not large enough to comfortably accommodate student needs,” Olson said.
The university will also focus on the new student center in New South to address the need for more student activity space. According to Olson, the bottom floor of New South is approximately 30,000 square feet in size. There is an additional 5,000 to 6,000 square feet of space on the second floor. Only 10,000 square feet is being used now by dance studios and practice rooms. The space that had been the kitchen and serving area of the New South dining hall will be converted into student media group space, a ballroom and commercial space. The space formerly used for the business school computer lab will be made into classrooms.
The plan for apartment-style housing near the intersection of 36th and Prospect Streets is still in the beginning stages of planning, but could feature townhouses and small-scale retail establishments.
According to Olson, the housing will be provided for graduate students to accommodate university plans for enrollment growth primarily in graduate and untraditional – such as part-time students and returning veterans – student class size. The campus plan projects graduate student enrollment to increase by about 3,188 to a total of 8,700.
The campus plan also includes efforts to improve environmental sustainability. According to Olson, this will include transitioning Georgetown University Transportation Shuttle buses to biodiesel fuel and replacing the power plant chimney with a more efficient and environmentally-friendly one.
There will also be new and improved GUTS bus routes, which will include improvements to the Canal Road entrance and a circular bus route through campus.
“Each decision is a serious decision in its own right, and those are decisions that the senior leadership of the university considers thoughtfully and carefully one by one as we go along,” Olson said. “So they are all things that we are earnestly interested in, and we need to make a lot of complex decisions.”