GW awaits two building permits

University officials said Friday they are still waiting for two permits to continue construction on the Marvin Center.

Roger Lyons, executive director of facilities for the Office of the Vice President and the Treasurer, said the University still needs to obtain a permit for excavation, sheeting and sheering and a full building permit before the next phase of construction can begin.

The University applies for permits through the District’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, Lyons said.

The University has not completed the design for the planned Marvin Center renovations, Lyons said. However, the completed design is not necessary to obtain either permit, he said.

Various sets (of the plan) must be provided, Lyons said. They want to see most of the building designs.

The permits are needed for a proposed addition to the 21st Street side of the building. The addition would include construction of the Great Hall and an expansion of the GW Bookstore, said Mike Gargano, vice president for Student and Academic Support Services.

The Great Hall will be the living room for the Marvin Center, serving as a study area and a place to hold cocktail parties for events held in the Dorothy Marvin Betts Theatre, Gargano said.

A University Police Department satellite office, which will offer 24-hour security in the building, will also be added to the Marvin Center.

In order to complete the design, Lyons said there must be a final review by administrators. The Office of the Vice President and Treasurer – a single office – will have an in-house meeting to review the final plans. SASS must also be consulted for the final plans, Lyons said.

Gargano said the purpose of the final review is to ensure that everyone agrees on all of the intricacies of the design.

With projects like this, design takes a while, Lyons said.

Lyons said he expects to get the excavation permit in the next couple of weeks, and definitely by Thanksgiving. He said the full building permit should be granted shortly after that.

Lyons said the planning has cost a lot of money, but he does not know the exact amount.

Gargano also said he does not know the amount of money spent on the Marvin Center construction and planning.

John Schauss, who is the deputy treasurer of the Office of the Vice President and Treasurer and approves and monitors the budget for the Marvin Center, could not be reached for comment.

The University expected to get the excavation permit earlier this month, but Lyons said he is fairly optimistic that the wait in getting the permit will not cause construction delays.

The focus has been on other, more timely projects, he said.

Gargano said renovations to the Marvin Center’s third-floor ballroom and Betts Theatre will be completed by Jan. 17, the first day of the spring semester.

It’s exciting that the two will be back on line so quickly, Gargano said.

The rest of the construction, including the Great Hall, the UPD office and additions to the bookstore, is projected to be completed in late summer or early next fall, Gargano said.

Nothing is ever certain with projects, Lyons said. The process is very encouraging.

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