New Campus Enhancements Prioritize Community, Health, Safety

After a $10 million investment this summer, the university has so far completed hundreds of projects that will improve the student, faculty and staff experience.

GW has completed more than 150 projects on Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses with more than 450 projects upcoming
September 09, 2019

This summer, with a $10 million infusion to the budget and more than 150 projects completed and 250 additional underway, the George Washington University fast-tracked an especially ambitious plan to address high-priority issues in residential, academic and administrative spaces, improving the GW community’s experience and enhancing culture.

The university announced the funding earlier this summer following a review of areas in need of attention to support a community-oriented culture and benefit the student, faculty and staff experience. The investment, which has prioritized community, health and safety updates, was in addition to the facilities work previously planned and budgeted for fiscal 2020.

“A university’s space reflects its values and identity,” said Mark Diaz, executive vice president and chief financial officer. “GW is committed to well-maintained and intentionally designed campuses that support our entire community and befit a world-class institution.”

Here’s a look at some of the significant changes you will notice on campus—the result of 15,000 work hours so far—and a preview of what’s to come.


In the Marvin Center, an updated first-floor entry, coming in from H Street NW, and elevator lobby with new lighting greets visitors. The center’s third-floor terrace is now a more inviting and useful space with comfortable furniture for lounging and gathering. Fresh paint and new ceilings are also throughout the building. Students will soon have nicer space in the fourth-floor lobby for gathering and lounging, too. Across both the Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses, residence hall community spaces have been created or updated, including with new flooring, furniture, lighting and painting.

Marvin Center Third Floor TerraceThe Marvin Center third-floor terrace. (Harrison Jones/GW Today)


A new modern heating and cooling system is now in place in the psychology academic building, and common area heating and cooling was updated in residence halls. Additional heating and cooling system assessments and upgrades are scheduled throughout the fall semester. Comprehensive mold and pest assessments and remediation have been completed across the Foggy Bottom and the Mount Vernon campuses, and new outdoor trash and recycling receptacles will be installed at a higher frequency and with increased pick-up schedules to improve user access and pest mitigation efforts.


Across the Foggy Bottom campus, staff conducted a “trip walk” assessment to fix uneven surfaces and navigated common paths with students to identify areas in need of a lighting boost. Additionally, 21 residence halls received digital signage to help streamline student communication around community events, hall-specific news, way-finding resources and safety and security messaging as appropriate. Enhanced exterior lighting throughout the Mount Vernon campus as well as Foggy Bottom parks is coming this fall.

Other updates

Across the Foggy Bottom campus, tree boxes are now home to new plants and flowers, while building facades, entries and sidewalks—which are typically under the purview of the District—are grime-free after a GW-funded pressure wash. Residence halls and other highly used spaces received heating and cooling upgrades, new flooring, lighting fixtures, ceilings and paint on walls and door trim. On the Mount Vernon campus, new landscaping, a refreshed fountain and outdoor seating are ready for students. Students also will see new flooring and paint throughout their residence halls.

Coming up

The projects completed so far are just the start of a thorough, regular process to assess and improve campus infrastructure, Mr. Diaz said.

“I hope all members of the university community feel collective ownership of our campuses and will let us know what we can do to make them better spaces for living, learning and working,” Mr. Diaz added.

More than 200 additional projects are on the docket for further assessment throughout the fall semester. The improvements prioritize principles that enhance the experience of students, faculty and staff, including community, accessibility, safety, health and look and feel.

In progress and future projects include:

  • The university community will soon be able to enjoy an updated Anniversary Park, on F Street NW between 21st and 22nd streets NW, which will have refreshed benches and landscaping with evergreen shrubs and flowers to make for a more inviting space. A few skips away, G Street Park, adjacent to GW Deli, is freshly sodded, has new plants and will soon have updated seating, tables and lighting.
  • Potomac Square, the large former parking lot on G Street, directly across from Lisner Hall and next to the Law Learning Center, is earmarked as a new outdoor gathering space with a distinct GW look and will be outfitted with new furniture and a daily selection of GWorld-accepting food trucks.
  • Several residence halls will receive redesigned lobbies to create more practical and inviting community spaces.

Members of the university community who notice issues on any GW campus can report them to the Division of Operations by filing a FixIt ticket, emailing [email protected] or calling 202-994-6706.

University News


$10 Million in Campus Improvements Coming This Summer

July 15, 2019

The additional investment follows a review of areas in need of attention to support a community-oriented culture and benefit the student, faculty and staff experience.