GU Makes Progress on Campus Plan Goals

By Nan Bell, bca@burleith.org

Georgetown Community Partnership: The GCP began its work in October 2012 and is charged with implementing the DC Zoning Commission’s requirements for the campus plan. The GCP’s Steering Committee, on which I serve, meets quarterly and includes leaders from the surrounding communities, the university, MedStar, and the student body. Burleith representatives sit on five working groups that focus on environmental and landlord issues (Janice Sims); safety and student life (Rich Field/Dave Bachner); transportation (Rob Russell); data and metrics (Linda Brooks); and communications (Pat Scolaro). These groups meet to make recommendations to the Steering Committee on issues such as noise, orientation, trash, safety, bus routes, behavior, and student rental houses. Improvements on these matters are visible and ongoing.

Construction cranes, such as this one at northeast triangle residence hall, loom over the campus skyline.

Construction cranes, such as this one at northeast triangle residence hall, loom over the campus skyline.

2018 Campus Plan: The current Georgetown University Campus Plan runs to December 31, 2017. This agreement required GU to develop the main campus as a student-centric living and learning community. Toward this end, much has been accomplished over the past several years. One excellent example is the new Healey Family Student Center that opened in September 2014. It has 44,000 square feet of student space, including a pub with an outdoor patio, a salad and smoothie service, dance studios, music practice rooms, TV lounge, study rooms, and individual meetings rooms. The university is continuing to develop a master plan to achieve the goal of a residential campus. The Master Planning Working Group, of which I am a member, meets regularly and includes GU leaders, community representatives from Georgetown, Burleith, and Foxhall Village, students, and MedStar executives. Our discussions will form the basis for the school’s 2018 Campus Plan.

Students on Campus: The conversion of the former Magis Row in West Georgetown saw 65 students move back to campus in 2013. The renovation of the Former Jesuit Residence accommodates 148 students and opened in August 2015. The Northeast Triangle Residence Hall will house 225 students and is on track to open in August 2016. To ensure that the 225 number is satisfied this year, however, GU is using two floors of the Leavey Center hotel as undergraduate housing and expanding capacity in existing resident halls during the 2015-16 academic year. These increases in housing for students (plus an additional 12 beds created through permanent modifications to existing residence halls) will result in an additional 450 students moving back on campus this academic year. And beginning this fall, undergraduate students are required to live on campus for three years instead of two.

Quality of Life: The university HELPLINE—(202) 687-8413—is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to all neighborhood concerns; it will follow up with any caller who requests a call back. There are now three SNAP vehicles with shifts on Thursdays from 10 pm to 3 am, and Fridays and Saturdays from 5 pm to 3 am. During the summer, SNAP operates Friday and Saturday nights from 10 pm to 3 am. The university operates three M Street shuttles on weekend evenings in addition to shuttles for Burleith, West Georgetown, Dupont Circle, and Adams Morgan.

The Office of Neighborhood Life (ONL) has developed a dynamic orientation required for all students living off-campus that includes student rights and responsibilities. ONL and the GCP Environment and Landlord Initiatives Working Group have worked with DC's Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs to inspect all rental properties without a Basic Business License (BBL) and ensure all rentals are up to code. ONL provides a website with listings for rental properties in the neighborhood that have BBLs.

For additional information on GU/Burleith-related matters, please email me at bca@burleith.org.