Ten more years

September 11, 2008

Imagine this: a library that can handle the masses of students who descend upon it during finals, a walk to Leo’s for lunch that does not involve constantly dodging vehicles left and right. These ideas could become reality if included in Georgetown’s next ten year campus plan, which will dictate how the University will grow over the next decade.

Georgetown’s current campus plan is set to expire in January 2010. Its notable projects included the designs for the new business school building and the new science building. The new campus plan, mandated by the District of Columbia Office of Zoning for all colleges and universities within the District, will guide University growth until 2020.

“This plan is essentially the Bible,” University Architect H. Alan Brangman said. “If a building is not identified in the campus plan, it cannot be built unless the plan is amended.”

Georgetown will be contracting with Cooper, Robertson & Partners, a New York architectural and urban planning firm that has designed plans for Harvard, Yale, and other universities.

“This is the first time we’ve worked with Georgetown,” Cooper, Robertson spokeswoman Karen Cooper wrote in an e-mail, “but our part of the project will really be to step in and create a complete picture, work on the goals of the various groups, and tie them together into a realistic picture of growth for the school.”

In the upcoming weeks, a steering committee, comprised mostly of administrators, will be formed to guide the process of creating the plan. The committee will be divided into working groups concerned with individual issues like transportation, green space, and off-campus life. These groups will give their suggestions to Brangman and the contractor and provide comments when the draft plan is released in six to nine months.

“The biggest things for this plan are making the campus more pedestrian friendly and adding green space,” Brangman said.

An expansion of Lauinger Library is needed, according to University Librarian Artemis Kirk, who noted that the library is currently pressed for space, especially for its special collections and advanced multimedia capabilities.

“Our special collections draw researchers from all over and has become quite an impressive collection,” Kirk said. “We want this to be more accessible and easy to use for researchers who come to the library, and also for the community here to realize that we have these awesome collections and primary documents.”

Other goals include continuing to construct buildings that are environmentally sustainable and deciding what to do with Old North and Maguire, which will be almost completely vacated when the business school moves into its new building.

— Additional reporting by Salome Viljoen

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