The university is planning to renovate Alumni Square, Village A and Village C East this summer to include new windows, furniture and LED lighting for the three communities.
The Office of Planning and Facilities Management and the Office of Residential Living are working together to ensure that the upgrades are completed for the 2017-18 school year. The renovations funds, which are expected to total about $6 million, will come from the University Capital Fund, a fund established for such projects.
The most extensive renovations, costing $4.5 million, will take place in Alumni Square. All apartments will receive new refrigerators, windows and dehumidifiers. Apartments numbered 1-15 will receive renovated kitchens and bathrooms with new flooring.
Village A will receive new dining and living room furniture at a cost of about $300,000, while Village C East will have new windows installed at an estimated cost of $1.2 million.
Robin Morey, vice president of planning and facilities management, said this summer’s projects are a continuation of the renovations to apartments and residence halls that began last year. The university installed new air conditioning, hot water heaters and roofing in Alumni Square last summer.
The university, Georgetown University Student Association and neighbors agreed to a 20-year campus plan in September, calling for the university to maintain a three-year housing requirement. Morey cited the plan, which also calls for existing residence halls to be renovated to bolster efforts to improve student residences.
“The renovations to our residential communities are part of our investments in deferred maintenance and our commitment in the campus plan to renovate existing campus housing to be competitive and marketable,” Morey wrote in an email to The Hoya.
GUSA President Enushe Khan (MSB ’17) said she worked with the university through the Master Planning Consortium, which brings together administrators and student advocates to address planning concerns and review residence halls and apartments run by the university to determine those in need of renovation. According to Khan, the previous campus plan had diverted funds away from renovations in order to construct new residences.
“The suboptimal state of many dorms on campus is a result of the previous campus plan, which led to the building of two new residential faculties,” Khan wrote in an email to The Hoya. “The construction of these facilities diverted funds away from long-overdue renovations.”
According to Patrick Killilee, executive director for residential services, many of the residential communities have not seen improvements since the 1990s. Last year, the Office of Residential Living and Facilities worked with an outside architectural firm to determine that Alumni Square, Village A and Henle Village were the buildings most in need of renovations.
“Our facilities around campus — especially our apartment areas — needed renovations. Most probably haven’t been renovated from the early to mid-90s,” Killilee said. “Certainly many are due — if not past due — for these renovations.”
Khan said the renovations being conducted were a promising first step, but more money was needed in order to make housing options on campus more appealing for students.
“Until we can raise the capital to take on the full renovations needed for some facilities, we hope these annual renovation projects will make a difference and fix the bare minimum,” Khan wrote.
According to Killilee, work will begin in Henle Village and continue in Alumni Square and Village A in the coming years. Killilee said that by starting with 15 apartments in Alumni Square, best practices for future renovations can be determined.
“We have enough money to do these 15 apartments, and that would be a test case,” Killilee said. “So,we can set our standard so when we do the rest in Alumni Square and Village A, we can say these are the materials we want to use.”
According to Killilee, the renovations will have a minor impact on summer housing. He said that the apartments are usually not completely occupied for those staying on campus over the summer. Most students will instead stay in residence hall dorm rooms.
“We’re down one apartment complex that we can’t use,” Killilee said. “However, apartments tend to be the least occupied of all of our residence spaces in the summer. We don’t often fill our apartment complexes. Alumni Square was down last year; it’ll be down again this year.”