The George Washington University will direct $10 million toward dozens of projects this summer to address issues in residential, academic and administrative spaces, improving the university community’s experience and enhancing GW’s culture.
“A preeminent university needs to have world-class facilities,” GW President Thomas LeBlanc said. “This is a first step in an ongoing effort to make sure our facilities reflect the caliber of our students, faculty and staff.”
While campus maintenance is a routine part of summer at GW, this year is different. The $10 million of projects is in addition to the facilities work previously planned and budgeted for fiscal 2020. The Board of Trustees recently approved the additional funding. The board approved fiscal 2020 funding in May.
The budget infusion comes after Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Mark Diaz and facilities staff conducted a walkthrough of nearly all buildings on GW’s Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses at the beginning of the summer, finding facilities and infrastructure issues that require immediate investment.
“From updating mechanical systems to creating comfortable spaces to live, learn and work to fixing chipped paint on a railing—all the details matter,” Mr. Diaz said. “Our spaces should be our asset. They are critical elements of our overall culture and directly affect every community member’s experience.”
The current “full-court press” effort tackles substantive projects that need the most help, but it won’t fix everything, Mr. Diaz said. Instead, it can be viewed as jump-starting a thorough, regular process that will be implemented to continually assess and improve the university’s infrastructure with significant investments across all campuses in D.C. and Virginia. Improvements will continue to prioritize principles that enhance the experience of students, faculty and staff, including community, accessibility, safety and look and feel, Mr. Diaz added.
The wide-ranging projects this summer span more than 40 buildings as well as outdoor and landscaping spaces, including:
- Outdoor: Updates to community spaces and landscape on Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses, including the Marvin Center terrace, residence halls and other green space.
- Building GG (Department of Psychology offices): Mechanical system maintenance; installation of a modern heating and cooling system.
- Mitchell Hall: Ceiling tile replacement in hallways and common spaces; hallway and room door repainting; new vinyl tile hardwood in building hallways; lighting fixture replacements; building entrance refresh.
- Potomac House lounge: New vinyl tile hardwood flooring, furniture, lighting and painting.
- Mount Vernon campus: Enhanced exterior lighting throughout the campus.
More information on projects will be available as they are completed, including many in time for the start of the fall semester.
“We want everyone to feel that they have collective ownership of our campuses, especially when noticing a problem we need to fix,” Mr. Diaz said. “Our mantra moving forward is, ‘We can do better, we should do better, we must do better, and we will do better.’ ”