University officials received unanimous approval from Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E on Monday night for the blueprint of a new campus dormitory, which planners say could be completed in time for the 2015-2016 academic year.
The residence hall would be constructed in the undeveloped plot across from Reiss Science Building, which had been revealed in March as the preferred location. Robin Morey, vice president for planning and facilities management, told The Hoya that the $30 to $40 million project is currently expected to house sophomores.
This development, which aligns with the 2010 Campus Plan agreement to house more students on campus, will undergo an architectural review Wednesday by the Old Georgetown Board. Should it eventually receive final approval, the university hopes to break ground in spring 2014 and complete the 8,000 square-ft. building in 14 months.
Although the proposal was generally well-received by the ANC, the two student representatives, PeterPrindiville (SFS ’14) and Craig Cassey (COL ’15), stressed the scarcity of campus space and the importance of creating a building that’s aestheticallydistinct.
“This is one of the last chances the campus has to build a new building,” Prindiville said during the meeting. He added that it’s “the last viable green space” in the portion of the Hilltop that he represents.
“While it is a negative that it is a green field and we’re losing that green space,” Morey said afterword, “any project would have required us to do a major renovation or relocation of some other function from campus.”
Prindiville’s concerns were far outweighed by praise for the university, particularly with the efficiency of planning over a short period of time.
“I think we’ve seen a new outlook toward development on campus,” Prindiville said in an interview. “It’s now very forward-thinking. The university is hiring developers and master planners who are really thinking about what the university is going to look like in 50 or 100 years.”
Cassey echoed that sentiment during the meeting, questioning whether the dormitory’s design would truly be “timeless.” Architects hired by the university say they plan on a design combining brick and stone to fuse the styles of the front and back of campus.
The proposed dormitory would feature seven floors and 250 beds, with suite bedrooms similar to those in Copley Hall. The ground floor would include classrooms and have an entry “essentially like walking through a grove of trees,” as one of the Sasakiarchitects described it.
The area between Leavey Center and Red Square receives heavy foot traffic throughout the year, and planners hope to maintain a narrow walkway for students during construction. The university also has renovations to Reiss high on its agenda.
Georgetown University Student Association President Nate Tisa (SFS ’14) praised the proposal during the meeting and commended university officials for soliciting input from students throughout the process.
“The university is incorporating not only students but employees in the planning,” Prindiville told The Hoya. “I’m excited, I just hope the government can keep up with the pace.”
Should the Class of 2019 have this new dormitory available when selecting sophomore housing, it’s still up for grabs where it will rank in popularity among the existing options. “I honestly expect it to be at the top of that list,” Prindiville said.
Correction: The article has been updated to include the correct target date for completion. Officials hope to have the dormitory ready for the 2015-2016 academic year, not 2014-2015.