Making Way for the Science and Engineering Complex

students with sledgehammers and hard hats start demo of parking garage to make way for science and engineering hall
June 06, 2011

With a sledgehammer in his hands and a hard hat on his head, GW President Steven Knapp took the first step toward construction of GW’s planned Science and Engineering Complex by kicking off demolition of the University Parking Garage on June 2.

Dr. Knapp was joined by university trustees Mark Hughes, David Karlgaard and Cynthia Steele Vance, as well as administrators, faculty members and Campaign GW students, who also swung sledgehammers. The Science and Engineering Complex will be located at 22nd and H Streets—the current site of UPG, which closed permanently on May 20.

“The transformational project that will be on this site will move the university into a new era,” Dr. Knapp said. “There’s no question that we’ve had a pent-up necessity and demand for more space for our scientists and engineers, so they can achieve the aspirations that are embodied in the tremendous new recruits we’re bringing into our faculty and the students who are coming to work with our spectacular faculty here.”

Final approval for the SEC from the D.C. Zoning Commission is still pending but is expected on June 13. The GW Board of Trustees unanimously approved the project last October. When completed, the SEC will nearly double the space on campus allotted to several science and engineering disciplines.

Demolition of UPG will continue throughout the summer. Pre-demolition activities, which have already begun, include the construction of a covered pedestrian walkway on Eye Street; decommissioning of all utilities in UPG; installation of security fencing and perimeter safety cables; sediment and erosion control measures; and installation of netting protection on the south elevation and southern portion of the east elevation of Munson Hall.

Demolition will continue with removal of pre-cast panels from the parking garage, slated for June and July, demolition of north and south parking structures between June and September, and demolition of Building K between mid-June and early July.

After demolition is complete, there are three major phases for construction of the SEC: excavation, sheeting and shoring from late 2011 to mid-2012; construction of foundations to grade from mid-2012 to early 2013; and construction above grade to completion from early 2013 to late 2014. Building occupancy is expected by January 2015.

More information about the new complex is available on the SEC website.