This summer’s biggest stories

August 27, 2010

Lawn signs symbolize neighborhood opposition to 2010 Campus Plan

Georgetown’s 2010 Campus Plan faces opposition

Every 10 years, the University is required to submit a plan to the D.C. Zoning Commission detailing its construction and expansion plans for the upcoming decade. They are not always popular with the University’s neighbors, and this summer, residents of Burleith and West Georgetown intensified their opposition to Georgetown’s proposed 2010 Campus Plan.

Lawn signs symbolize neighborhood opposition to 2010 Campus Plan

Those plans for expansion—including the enrollment of 3,400 additional graduate students—have enraged neighborhood community groups, who are demanding more on-campus housing for undergraduates. In August, the Georgetowner published a joint op-ed from four community organizations criticizing the plan for its failure to address  late night noise, disorderly conduct, and trash violations caused by students living off-campus.

The Burleith Citizens Association and the Citizens Association of Georgetown have both launched fund-raising campaigns to hire experts to testify against the plan and have circulated online petitions addressed to Mayor Adrian Fenty and Georgetown’s representative on the D.C. Council. The BCA also began selling lawn signs with slogans like “Our Homes, Not GU’s Dorms” to express their staunch opposition to the plan.

UIS promises wireless coverage by spring 2011

University Information Services announced this July that it will overhaul Georgetown’s notoriously unreliable wireless Internet coverage during the 2010-11 academic year. A partnership with Cisco systems will fund the upgrades, which will take place in all campus dorms that do not  currently have wireless access. Students will be notified as new dorms receive upgrades. According to UIS, every residence hall will have wireless Internet access by the end of spring semester.

Philly P’s tries to reopen

Last year, neighbors waged a successful campaign to shut down the late-night pizza joint Philly Pizza & Grill, a restaurant that had gained notoriety among students for its early-morning sale of ranch-soaked pizza slices and the throngs of drunk and disorderly students they attracted on weekends. The restaurant’s neighbors complained to neighborhood and city officials for months before a court order and a Board of Zoning Adjustment ruling shut the restaurant down in March.

This summer Philly Pizza owner Matt Kocak filed a demolition permit with the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs in the hopes of possibly reopening the restaurant. The building is now zoned as a “prepared food shop,” hinting that Kocak is not out to recreate the late night pizza joint he once ran. But in any event, neighborhood leaders say they will not let his establishment reopen without a fight.

Science Center begins delayed construction

In late May, the University finally broke ground on its new Science Center. The building’s construction began back in 2007 but was indefinitely delayed due to the economic recession, which left the university unable to obtain necessary loans. In late 2009, $6.9 million of federal stimulus funds from the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The Center is scheduled to be completed by fall 2012.

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