University to construct F Street hall

Construction of a new F Street residence hall will begin in January, but GW is still waiting to secure a permit before it breaks ground on the building.

The 379-bed hall, which will be built in the parking lot next to Francis Scott Key Hall, is slated to open in fall 2006, said Charles Barber, the University’s senior counsel. The parking lot is on F Street between 20th and 21st streets.

Though city officials approved the residence hall in March, they still need to green light construction of the building. Eric Hougen, project manager for the Office of Business and Operations, could not be reached for comment about when GW will receive a construction permit.

Barber said the building’s beds will help GW comply with a D.C. Board of Zoning Adjustment order that requires the University to house 70 percent of its undergraduate students – including all freshmen and sophomores – on campus by summer 2006.

“With this residence hall coming on the heels of Ivory Towers and Townhouse Row, we have significantly increased the number of on-campus housing and number of overall beds,” Barber said. Because of changing enrollment figures, University officials are unsure whether the new building will put them over the 70 percent mark.

The F Street hall will feature quads with two bedrooms and a shared bathroom, but no kitchen. Barber would not comment on which students will be eligible to live in the building, but University officials have told The Hatchet in the past that the structure will house freshmen and sophomores.

Plans also call for retail space on the ground floor of the residence hall. Barber said he did not know which shops would be opening in the building.

“The tendency is to provide food or some type of convenience store,” he said.

After reviewing GW’s original proposal for a 120-foot residence hall, District officials refused to provide the University with a permit to exceed the building site’s height restriction of 90 feet. A scaled-back plan was presented to the D.C. Zoning Commission last winter.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.