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

Law Center Campus Expands Near Capitol Hill

Georgetown University purchased a full block of property half a mile from the U.S. Capitol Building on March 18, less than two months after Johns Hopkins University acquired the Newseum Building a few blocks away.

With this new property at 500 First St. NW, Georgetown plans to expand the Georgetown University Law Center campus, house administrative offices and accommodate graduate programs, according to a university statement released March 19. The $70 million purchase follows a push by U.S. universities including the University of California, New York University and Arizona State University to bring student programs to Washington, D.C., according to The Washington Post.

SHEEL PATEL/THE HOYA | The largest donation in the Georgetown University Law Center’s history is funding the expansion of the Law Center campus to Capitol Hill.

The physical proximity of the property grants students greater exposure to the nation’s political center, according to Law Center Dean William Treanor.

“The building location is ideal, located just steps from the U.S. Capitol and the U.S. Supreme Court,” Treanor wrote in an email to The Hoya. “It also allows the Law Center to expand its footprint, completing a city block for the University.”

The building will accommodate new academic programs, including the Center for Security and Emerging Technology, the largest center focused on artificial intelligence and security policy in the country.

The expansion is being funded by Law Center alumnus and Boardwalk Auto Group owner Scott Ginsburg (LAW ’78), who donated $10.5 million to the project. Ginsburg’s donation is the largest single donation to the Law Center in the school’s history.

Ginsburg also donated to the Scott K. Ginsburg Sport and Fitness Center at the Law Center, located in the same block as the new 500 First St. NW property. Georgetown hopes that Ginsburg’s donation will inspire more contributions, according to a university statement released March 19.

The Capitol Applied Learning Lab, which will offer undergraduate students internship opportunities and provide academic opportunities related to policy and public service, will also be housed in the building.

The location is set to facilitate CALL students’ integration in downtown D.C., according to Randall Bass, vice provost for education and a CALL administrator.  

“The whole purpose of the CALL is to create a place downtown that can be a nexus for student immersion experiences in internships and related opportunities,” Bass wrote in an email to The Hoya. “Having the building is critical for that. It will serve as the home base for the cohort of students at the CALL.”

Administrators plan to incorporate student ideas as they redesign the new building, according to Bass.

“We want to make it as comfortable and multi-functional as possible,” Bass wrote. “We also want to engage the first cohort of students in helping us to customize the space to feel like their space. We want to co-design the look and feel with the students.”

Certain McCourt School of Public Policy classes are also set to relocate to the new building, according to McCourt School Dean Maria Cancian.

“We are excited to expand the McCourt School’s presence to Capitol Hill,” Cancian wrote in an email to The Hoya. “The move creates new opportunities to collaborate with our Law Center colleagues on key issues like technology, climate and immigration policy.”

Georgetown purchased the 130,000 square foot property from Office Properties Income Trust, a real estate investment trust. The property was originally built in 1969 and was vacant before Georgetown purchased it Monday, though the building once functioned as the Federal Bureau of Prisons headquarters.

Graduate students will reap the benefits from the property acquisition as their programming moves closer together, according to Treanor.

“Having the ability to bring together centers and institutes from across campus in one location will be extremely beneficial for our students, allowing them to work across disciplines with top experts addressing critical global issues today,” Treanor wrote.

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