Ivory Tower nears completion

The Ivory Tower, a 729-bed residence hall with dining venues on its basement floor, is currently under construction and set to open to students in August.

The facility, which will house students in New Hall-style doubles and quads, will feature five eating establishments, several music rooms and an underground parking garage, said University officials on a recent tour of the building.

The Ivory Tower’s outer fa?ade and floors are completed, and a 230-man construction crew will be installing furniture and appliances in the building beginning in June or July, said Art Bean, GW’s director of construction programs.

GW held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Ivory Tower in August 2002 and began construction on the $63 million-building several months later.

Officials said they are still unsure what eateries will occupy the building’s 120-seat dining area, but that they are looking to have a convenience store and several sandwich shops.

Louis Katz, executive vice president and treasurer, said he hopes that the venues will be in place when students move into the building next semester.

“(The) plan is to have them here for opening,” he said. “We’re reasonably optimistic that they will be.”

Katz quashed rumors that Chipotle, the popular Mexican fast food chain, will open a restaurant in the Ivory Tower. He said Chipotle, which is owned by McDonald’s, wants its restaurants to be visible from the street, and that the residence hall’s street-visible retail space was not big enough for the chain.

In addition to the dining venues, the Ivory Tower’s ground floor will also house music rooms that will provide students with practicing space. Students have often criticized GW’s music facilities in Building XX and the Academic Center.

“This is something that (University President) Stephen Joel Trachtenberg wanted,” Katz said of the rooms. “He likes to create activity, and this would be a good use in a building such as this.”

The building’s rooms, which are similar to doubles and quads in New Hall, will feature kitchens and bathrooms, said Bean, who added that the University received student feedback about the rooms.

“We asked them what’s right and what’s wrong,” said Katz, who noted that GW made 17 minor adjustments to the room’s furniture and layout.

Laundry facilities will be included in the building’s ground floor.

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