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Construction underway on GWU's Super Dorm

By Shannen Hill
On September 23, 2013

  • Artist's rendering of the new George Washington University dormitory complex in Northwest Washington.

George Washington University began construction this summer on what is being called a "super dorm" on its Foggy Bottom campus.

This new dorm will be the most expensive dorm residence at GWU, costing $130 million. It will combine three existing residence hall along the 2100 block of H Street NW. This "super dorm" will hold 850 beds and will be open to sophomores and juniors. The super dorm runs a close second in size to Thurston Hall, which houses 1,000 freshmen, but already it has started to impact students.

Residents who live near the Northwest Washington campus generally support the dorm construction because they think it will confine the noise to one space, instead of being spread around the neighborhood, according to Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners of Foggy Bottom. While the resident opinion is valued, the construction of this new dorm will have a greater impact on the students, especially those starting their sophomore year, more than anyone.

The residence halls that will be under construction are Crawford, Schenley and West End Hall. These halls house over 500 students, most of which are sophomores. This is the last semester that anyone will be living in these halls before construction begins. Many of the students have voiced concerns about where 500 sophomores are going to live next year.

"I'm worried about where I'm going to live...during construction" said Chad Green, 19, a sophomore.

Many of the current students have mixed opinions on whether the dorm should be built, but they have come to a general consensus that they will be the ones to carry the biggest burden during this transition period.

"This is going to be good once it's done, it just sucks that we have to be the ones to go through the construction period," said one junior who do not want to be named.

The student opinions range from the super dorm being a good idea because the dorms being renovated are in poor condition, to students expressing that they don't have an opinion on the new dorm since they will not be able to experience it. Some have said that there is too much construction happening at one time.

"There's so much construction going on that I don't even realize when something new is being built," said Rebecca Goldberg, 20.

George Washington University is currently approved for eight new construction projects, including a 376,928 square-foot project that will combine the university's science and engineering department. Other construction projects include renovations to the Gelman Library and a new textile museum. Construction on the superdorm will be complete in 2016. 

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