Georgetown University is knee-deep in planning and development this summer. Today, Spiros Dimolitas, Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Georgetown University released an open letter to (angry) neighbors about the University's 2010-2020 Campus Plan.
You see, every ten years, the District requires the University and the Medical Center to outline all future infrastructure and development projects for the upcoming decade. Georgetown's 2000-2010 plan expires this year on December 31st, and while the changes being considered are not drastic, the review offers an opportunity for the community to address other issues they have with the university, which usually involves off-campus students.
Andy Pino from GU's Public Affairs Office tells DCMud that work first began on 2010-2020 plans in 2008. A final plan has yet to be submitted to Zoning and the University will continue "to have conversations with members of the community" before that happens.
Looking forward to Fall 2010, public Zoning Commission hearings about proposed projects such as "...renovations to the Medical Center, improvements to Kehoe Field’s roof" as well as "road construction" that will allow the Georgetown University Transportation Shuttle (GUTS) buses to turn around on campus, should prove to be contentious.
And because the chance to weigh in on University activities only comes around every ten years, residents of the neighboring Georgetown and Burleith communities seem to be seizing the opportunity to try to force the University's hand on some undergraduate housing issues.
The Burlieth Citizens Association and the Citizens Association of Georgetown have joined forces to petition Planning and Zoning to oppose the 2010-2020 plan unless the University takes action to stop "the already alarming conversion of single-family homes to group rental units" off campus. Over the next ten years, Georgetown expects to increase student enrollment by 3,200 or more, and the community would like an on-campus housing solution so that they can stop absorbing the run-over flip cup tournaments.
Georgetown officials maintain that there are no plans to increase enrollment for undergrads, that they already "house 84% of their undergraduate students on campus, which is the highest proportion of on-campus undergraduate housing of any university in the city other than Gallaudet" and that the average age of the students they're talking about enrolling is 28 "and many are married or live alone."
The community maintains that the 16 percent of undergraduates living in their neighborhoods are annoying, and anyway if the University wants to let anyone else come to their school, mature or otherwise, they need to come up with a plan to house the ones doing keg stands on the front lawn.
Washington, DC Real Estate and Development News