Students and administrators celebrated the topping off of the Northeast Triangle Residence Hall Wednesday with guided tours of the building, which revealed its interior to the public for the first time.
The residence hall is expected to include rooms for 225 students, the majority of whom will be sophomores. Construction for the building, which came to $46 million, began last year and is expected to be completed by August 2016 as part of the 2010 Campus Plan agreement to house 385 more students on campus by this semester.
In the meantime, two floors of the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center have been converted into temporary housing as construction of the NET continues.
The topping off event began with a series of speeches in Red Square, where Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson thanked all those involved in the planning and building of the new dorm.
“This is an exciting moment, as we continue to make Georgetown an even more vibrant residential campus and a great place for living and learning for all our students,” Olson said.
Topping off ceremonies are traditionally held when the last beam is placed atop a structure. The eight-story NET was officially topped off on Sept. 5.
Prior to the tour, students who attended the event had the opportunity to sign two beams that will be placed in the elevator shaft of the building.
Senior Project Executive at Gilbane Building Company Robert Walcott said that student input has influenced the design process.
“The topping off has always been a big deal and I’m glad to share it with Georgetown and the students,” Walcott said. “We’d like to keep that student involvement moving through the project.”
The NET will be the first residence hall on campus that is certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design system from the United States Green Building Council, which indicates that the building uses resources efficiently.
According to building architect Vinicius Gorgati, the entire building, which includes a green roof and rainwater harvesting system, was designed with the environment in mind.
“This building has a very significant sustainable agenda, everywhere from the quality of the glass to the quality of the air in the building,” Gorgati said. “It’s a very serious endeavor.”
The first floor of the building will function as a new student center, complete with a lounge area and multipurpose room.
Outside of the residence, the grounds have been re-landscaped as a pedestrian plaza with benches and newly planted trees.
On the east side of the building, there are plans for a terrace area including a sloped lawn and patio. The glass-paneled first floor will serve as the promenade’s light source at night.
“The idea is that any student can come here to hang out, study and see their friends,” Gorgati said. “There was a very purposeful strategy to get students to come together and be part of the Georgetown experience.”
A guarded front desk will separate students from the residential areas of the building and another lounge area exclusively for residents. The first floor will also hold a large bike storage area.
The majority of rooms in the NET will be two-bedroom suites for four residents. Every suite will have a full bathroom with two sinks, as well as large storage closets and windows for natural light.
Additionally, there will be a mix of singles and three-bedroom suites with more bathroom access. The building is fully accessible and will forgo keys in favor of GOCards.
The residence’s only laundry room will be located on the second floor, and each floor will have its own lounge, television and kitchen. Residents will have access to a prayer room on the eighth floor.
The basement of the building is joined with an access tunnel to a loading dock, where garbage will be disposed.
One of the NET’s most attractive features is a full view of Washington, D.C. from the seventh floor terrace and the eighth floor, where students can see the Potomac River, the Washington Monument and other landmarks.
Other vistas can be found from the north end of the building, where a tower of student lounges looks out over Georgetown’s campus.
“It embraces the plaza, and you have these very nice views of Red Square,” Gorgati said. “As you go up, you see all the steeples and towers of campus. From the seventh and eighth floors, its really superb.”
Gorgati and Sasaki Associates initiated the dorm’s design process in mid-2013, and continued throughout 2014.
According to Walcott, the next step for the construction is to make the building watertight by December. Following that milestone, the brick, stone and metal on the outside of the building will be built up through March.
Scaffolding is expected to come down in April, followed by re-grading and final paving scheduled for June.
“As I see … this new place of beautiful views and open spaces and welcoming places for students to live, I’m very enthused for the future of our students and our campus,” Olson said.
Secretary of Campus Planning Ari Goldstein (COL ’18) said he is pleased with the progress of the building and the student involvement that has gone into the planning process.
“Administrators have made a meaningful effort to engage students in the building’s design and construction processes, and we should see the positive results of that,” Goldstein wrote in an email to THE HOYA. “As we’ve seen from the opening of the Former Jesuit Residence, meaningful collaboration and thoughtful long-term planning can yield great results.”