Campus construction creates new pedestrian, bus routes

August 28, 2014

Joshua Raftis

Georgetown welcomed students to a construction-heavy Hilltop this week. With the university trying to meet goals outlined by the 2010 Campus Plan to increase on-campus student activity and living space, several projects are simultaneously underway. Now, students in all areas of campus have developed concerns about noise levels, traffic detours, and safety.

Robin Morey, vice president of Planning and Facilities, stressed the importance of taking smarter routes and avoiding the construction zones.

“Our primary concern is safety. Students really should follow the pedestrian paths and not walk on the road,” he said. “Students are generally used to walking on the road by Regents and now they should try to stay on the sidewalk.”

Construction workers have been advised to direct students toward the sidewalks or pedestrian pathways around Henle, Reiss, Healy, Regents, McDonough Gym, New South, and the Jesuit Residenceareas affected by construction.

Morey acknowledged students’ apprehension over the increase in noise level. He reassures that construction will be kept to a minimum—or even stopped—during midterms and finals, that alternative forms of construction will be used to mitigate any ruckus and that workday hours will not be bothersome toward students’ sleep schedules. 

“We are doing everything we can to minimize the noise,” said Morey. “For example, we’re using drilling, which is a lot less noise intensive. Generally speaking, the normal construction workday is 8 a.m. to 5p.m.—definitely no construction at five in the morning.”

Here’s what to expect as you move throughout campus’ construction zones this year.


The Healey Family Student Center is nearing its final stages of construction and will open on Sept. 5, though without the yet-to-be-named pub and the Corp’s salad shop, The Hilltoss.

The back areas of New South are still being developed, affecting areas mostly around the rear end of Village A and Leo’s. “On the outside of the building is a rain garden and bioretention pond that’s environmentally sustainable,” said Morey. “There will also be two decks, one of which will be open on Sept. 5. It will have chairs and gardens that students can take advantage of and hang out in.”

Construction on the old Jesuit Residence, Ryan and Mulledy Halls, has already begun and is scheduled for completion by July 2015. 

Brian Barger, senior project manager for the site, wrote in an email to the Voice, ”In the upcoming months students can expect to hear falling debris down the trash chute and dumpster trucks removing waste from the site. There will also be steel and lumber deliveries as structural repairs are made.”

Structural work will be restricted to the interior. There will also be some exterior work involving the removal and restoration of windows. “Library Walk will see a change in pedestrian and traffic flows,” Barger said, “We will be deploying barriers to safely separate construction equipment and delivery trucks from pedestrian pathways.”


Construction on the Northeast Triangle Dorm is expected to begin this September and continue through summer 2016. According to an email that was sent out by the Office of Planning and Facilities on August 22, Tondorf Rd. between ICC and Regents Hall has been closed since Aug. 25 to pedestrians and non-construction automobiles, limiting student traffic. 

Northeast Triangle’s location will mostly affect areas of campus by Reiss and Henle. Pedestrians can expect to see a number of signs designating safe travel areas and fenced off walkways along the sides of the road. Alternative entrances will also be opened for access to Leavey. 


The construction of the Thompson Athletic Center is slated to begin next Tuesday, provided the University is granted a permit.

Chris Jordan, the project manager for the center, said that students will most likely have to take the route past library walk to get to McDonough.

“The biggest impact will be to McDonough Gym, and there is going to be a covered walkway on the alleyway between the gym and the utility plant,” he said. 


Buildings aren’t the only campus elements affected by master planning—the 2010 Campus Plan calls for all bus loops, with the exception of Wisconsin Ave., to go through Canal Rd. on the east side of campus. The stop for the Dupont Circle route will be relocated to what is now the parking area beside the McDonough Gym, which will be redesignated as a turning area for the Rosslyn, Dupont and Arlington lines. 

“Half of the passenger trips are on Rosslyn and Arlington, the other half is Dupont, and now it’s all in one location serving the whole population,” said Morey. He also noted the impact of moving the location away from the Georgetown University Hospital area. “The majority of the Dupont route is facility, staff, and medical. While we’d like to have something penetrate further north of campus, we just can’t do that right now.”

For students unable to make the trek to East Campus, the University will provide a shuttle. Construction of the turning area is expected to begin in March 2015 and end in October that same year.

Click map to enlarge.

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