A Better GW in the Works

August 29, 2011

Construction equipment and vehicles outside of Ames Hall

Students returning to campus this week for the start of GW’s fall semester—as well as new students arriving in Foggy Bottom for the first time—will notice evidence of ongoing construction and projects to improve the campus.

“The projects currently underway are an important step toward enhancing our physical environment to support GW’s educational mission and position as a world-class institution in the heart of our nation’s capital,” said Alicia Knight, senior associate vice president for operations.

Here’s a list of what’s happening where.

Square 55/Science and Engineering Hall: The University Parking Garage closed permanently on May 20 so that demolition of the garage could begin. The UPG site and the adjoining former Building K, both located on Square 55, will be the home of GW’s Science and Engineering Hall, a state-of-the-art building that will house science and engineering departments. The building will include eight floors above grade, two floors of below-grade program space and four below-grade levels of underground parking. The project is scheduled to be completed in late 2014 and open for the spring 2015 semester.

Square 54/The Avenue: The construction on Square 54, the site of the old university hospital at 2200 Pennsylvania Avenue, was completed during the summer of 2011. The “town center”-style complex has been named “The Avenue” and includes office space, apartments and retail space, including eateries Circa, Sweetgreen, Roti and Devon & Blakely. Whole Foods Market will open on Sept. 6. Two restaurants to be located along Washington Circle/Pennsylvania Avenue—Burger Tap & Shake and District Commons—are scheduled to open this fall.

Square 39/SPHHS: The site of GW’s new School of Public Health and Health Services building on Square 39 is bounded by K Street, Washington Circle, New Hampshire Avenue and 24th Street. The building will consolidate all of GW’s existing eight locations of the SPHHS under one roof. The D.C. Zoning Commission approved the building in July. Construction on the SPHHS building will begin in early 2012 and is scheduled to be completed in late 2013 for occupancy in spring 2014.

Square 102A/The George Washington University Museum Project: The university is planning now for the George Washington University Museum, which will foster the study and appreciation of art, history and culture—both within the university and throughout the global community—through its affiliation with the Textile Museum and through its own collections, including the Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection. The museum will link scholars, collections and audiences through its collaboration with other museums, cultural and academic organizations. To be located at the corner of 21st and G Streets, the new museum will include a new structure and a restoration of the historic Woodhull House to house gallery and exhibition spaces as well as learning and educational facilities. In addition, there will be collections processing and library facilities and staff offices.

Square 103/Law Learning Center garage: Located in the 2000 block of G Street, this project will house one level of program space for GW's Law School and four levels of underground parking containing approximately 392 parking spaces. The D.C. Zoning Commission approved the project in April and construction has begun. The project is scheduled to be completed for occupancy during the fall 2012 semester.

Ames Hall: The Mount Vernon Campus’s Ames Hall was previously used as a dining hall and campus life building. With these function now housed in the new West Hall, Ames is being renovated for academic use. The renovations aim to make Ames Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifiable at the silver level. Construction on the project is scheduled to be complete in late 2011, with the building opening for the spring 2012 semester.

Lafayette Hall: This residence hall was closed in June 2010 for a complete renovation, including new HVAC systems, new fire stairs and a new elevator. The building’s entrance was also upgraded. Lafayette Hall construction was completed in August, and the hall is open for residents this fall.