Workers are placing the final touches on the new Southwest Quadrangle this week, finishing most of the construction just in time for the start of 2003-2004 academic year. Despite the occasional glitch, like a few unexpected fire alarms early Wednesday morning, all buildings in the new complex besides the Jesuit Residence will be ready for occupants on time.
Members of Clark Construction Company will be on hand up to the end of this weekend to complete last-minute projects and to fix any problems that arise during the move in process, according to Georgetown’s Director of Media Relations Laura Cavender.
The construction project, which includes three residence halls, a dining facility, an underground parking garage and a Jesuit community residence, required three years and $188 million to complete. The university held an open house on Monday, allowing members of the Georgetown community to preview the new facility.
The three new residence halls, McCarthy Hall, Kennedy Hall and Reynolds Hall, although designed to comfortably house 784 students, will house 900 freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors this year. Some double occupancy have been converted into triple occupancy rooms to accommodate an unprecedented request for on-campus housing. The housing department hopes to decrease the number of occupants to 784 by next year.
Each floor plan features a combination of single, double and triple occupancy rooms, as well as community rooms and quiet study rooms. The floor plans also include new meeting spaces for student groups and organizations, three seminar rooms for classes, four sound proof music rehearsal rooms and living space for for faculty and chaplains-in-residence . The Office for Student Affairs has planned an increased number of programming in the new halls including an increased number of faculty and chaplain-in-residence programs and themed living arrangements, such as Living Well Program that caters to students seeking a healthy lifestyle.
Students of Georgetown, Incorporated will open a convenience store, Hoya Snaxa, beneath Kennedy Hall by Friday, pending approval of their certificates of occupancy, according to CEO Kelsey Shannon (CAS ‘04). The store will offer snack food, soda, toiletries, cigarettes and bagels. They soon hope to add a serve-yourself coffee station as well.
Preseason athletics and pre-orientation programs brought some students to the new residences early. “There are already over 100 people already living in the residences, and it’s running very smoothly. I have already gotten a lot of positive feedback,” said Interim Vice President of Student Affairs Todd Olson.
None of the 786 new parking spaces in the underground parking garage will be offered to students. Nevertheless, the additional parking space will help the move-in process, which usually clogs up the university’s roads, run smoothly. During the school year, the parking garage will also house the university’s fleet of buses and maintenance vehicles.
The Leo J. O’Donovan, S.J. dining facility is a two-story cafeteria complete with twelve beverage stations and capacity to serve 1,200 people at once. Increased meal stations will allow for more meal options, including daily vegetarian and grilled selections. New dessert stations will offer more variety in ice cream and frozen yogurt selections as well.
Students who have already used the new dining facility seem pleased. “My mom came in and said that it looks like a four-star hotel. The food tastes the same, but it’s a much nicer building,” said Caitlin Bump (CAS ‘06).
The upper floor of the cafeteria, which features a cathedral ceiling and a view of the Potomac River, will be rented out for social functions such as conferences and weddings. Another space on the bottom floor, the Team Room, will be offered primarily to athletic teams for team meals.
Now that the cafeteria has been moved out of its old location in the New South Dormitory, renovations to convert the extra space have begun. According to Olson, dance spaces and music rehearsal space planned for that area will be completed by the end of the Fall.
When the Jesuit Residence is completed, it will be the first residence built specifically for the Jesuit Community. The building will include a chapel, meeting spaces and private living quarters.