Adjoining townhouses next to Thurston Hall will replace the third-floor Marvin Center University Club by early 1999, according to University administrators.
Renovations scheduled to start this summer will transform the two townhouses next to the freshman residence hall on F Street into a multi-purpose campus facility, said Jody Winter, GW’s director of special projects.
Proposals are being made to transform the current University Club into additional conference facilities, according to Jonathan Pompan, Marvin Center Governing Board chair.
Pompan said that while conference space in the new facility will be rented out, registered student organizations will not have to pay to use the new conference rooms, as is the policy with the current facilities.
“Ideally, these facilities would attract larger, more prestigious conferences that would possibly be geared toward students,” Pompan said. “We’d like to get conferences with an academic and educational impact and stray from conferences without relevance (to the GW community).”
Some students have harbored feelings of either discontent or indifference for the current University Club’s location.
“I’ve never been in there, and I probably never will. I haven’t had a reason to go,” said junior Kevin Burkett. “I think they should convert the space into a closed-circuit TV studio with University programming.”
“Moving the University Club out of the Marvin Center and building a new one on F Street will put to rest once and for all the concern that the University Club doesn’t fulfill a need for the student body,” Pompan said. “The facility will no longer have to serve a dual role as both University Club and conference/banquet facility.
“This new club will become more focused on the needs of clientele, rather than the student population,” he said.
The two GW-owned, pre-Civil War townhouses, one of which housed the Uruguayan Embassy until last year, will be architecturally joined to provide 12,000 square feet for a reception area, a grill room, bar and lounge, as well as main and private dining rooms for business and social events, according to Club Corporation of America, which will run the club for the University.
“CCA will be in charge of the development of the club,” said Caroline Ellis, senior vice president for development for CCA. “Once the club is open, we will manage the operations of food, beverages and membership . basically, anything involved in day-to-day operations.”
“The University Club will offer a multi-faceted and elegant atmosphere for entertainment and business purposes of alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the University,” said Ken Kasten, vice president of new business for CCA.
Winter said students age 21 and older will be allowed membership to the club.
The University has no plans to incorporate the new club into the F Street Club, a private membership club across the street also owned by GW.