The D.C. Zoning Commission gave final approval on Monday to GW’s application to build the Science and Engineering Hall. This important approval clears the way to move forward with the project, including demolition of the existing University Parking Garage and excavation at the site.
The hall, which will be located on the site of the University Parking Garage on 22nd and H streets, will nearly double the space on campus allotted to several science and engineering disciplines. The GW Board of Trustees unanimously approved the project last October.
“This project is a terrific testament to what GW, the community and the D.C. government can achieve by working together,” said Alicia O’Neil Knight, senior associate vice president for operations. “Monday’s successful vote and GW’s recent record of accomplishments before the Zoning Commission represent the culmination of many years of collaborative, community-based planning and will greatly further the university’s academic and research missions.”
In May, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Dean David Dolling said that he wants science and engineering to become “another jewel in the GW crown” and that the new hall will help accomplish this goal.
“If you travel the East Coast and you say ‘GW’ people will tend first to think of policy and politics and business and law. Engineering, technology and science are probably not the first things that spring to mind. Five years from now I would like ‘GW’ to invoke that image also,” Dr. Dolling said. “The building still does not exist physically, it is on paper, but it’s having a huge influence, certainly with respect to the quality of the faculty we’re able to recruit now.”
When complete, the hall will include state-of-the-art flexible learning and research space in an eight-story building with two levels of below-ground program space. The hall will also include underground parking and ground floor retail space.
The estimated cost of the building is $275 million, to be funded primarily with lease payments from The Avenue (located in Square 54, across from GW Hospital), indirect cost reimbursement from grants and contracts supporting faculty research, and philanthropic gifts from the GW community.
Demolition of the parking garage will continue throughout the summer and into the fall. After demolition is complete, there are three major phases for construction of the Science and Engineering Hall: 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.