GW Board of Trustees Approves Science and Engineering Complex

October 15, 2010

rendering of exterior of Science and Engineering Hall

The GW Board of Trustees today gave the university a green light to build the proposed state-of-the-art Science and Engineering Complex on the Foggy Bottom Campus. The board unanimously approved the project after reviewing design and cost estimates and hearing from university leaders about the impact the complex would have on learning, research and recruitment.

“The board fully supports the mission of the Science and Engineering Complex and recognizes that it will transform GW and help us strengthen our reputation as a premier research institution in the nation’s capital,” says Chairman of the Board of Trustees W. Russell Ramsey, B.B.A. ’81. “It will be a powerful magnet for world-class faculty and students and provide state-of-the-art yet flexible learning and research space for them to work collaboratively with corporate and government partners.”

The eight-story building will nearly double the amount of space currently available at GW for science and engineering. The complex will include approximately 400,000 square feet above grade and yield 290,000 square feet of assignable space for teaching and research laboratories for faculty and students in GW’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences and School of Engineering and Applied Science.

The School of Medicine and Health Sciences and research collaborators throughout the university also will be involved in research in the building. A typical floor in the proposed new complex will include research and teaching areas as well as faculty offices and breakout spaces.

“The board’s decision to build the Science and Engineering Complex marks an important milestone in the development of George Washington into a world-class research university,” says GW President Steven Knapp. “This crucial addition to our academic facilities will open countless new opportunities for learning and research, to the benefit of students and faculty in a very wide range of fields.”

The building, which will be located on the site of the current University Parking Garage at 22nd and H streets, NW, will feature two levels of below-ground program space, approximately 350 underground parking spaces and a retail venue on the ground floor along Eye Street. Sustainability is a critical component of the programming and design for the complex, and the building will be built in accordance to LEED standards targeting silver certification or higher.

The estimated cost of the facility is $275 million, which will be paid for through endowment payout from the Square 54 ground lease payments, indirect cost reimbursement for grants and contracts supporting faculty research, and donor gifts. The university anticipates beginning construction of the complex in 2011.

“One of the benefits of starting the construction process now is that we can take advantage of building this complex when construction costs are lower due to market conditions,” Executive Vice President and Treasurer Lou Katz says.

The university’s project team includes Ballinger Architects/Hickok Cole Architects, Boston Properties as the project manager and Clark Construction for pre-construction services. Faculty, student and alumni input has been an integral part of the building planning process.

The building is expected to be completed in late 2014 with occupancy expected in early 2015. Project planning has been underway since 2006.