Quigley’s, two academic halls to get renovations

Like Joan Rivers, GW has gotten some facelifts over the years. It’s now preparing for its next one.

Renovations to the Hall of Government, Monroe Hall and Quigley’s, a vacant GW-owned building on the corner of 21st and G streets, are slated to begin in the next two years, as the University continues its efforts to furnish the Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses with state-of-the-art facilities.

GW is constructing a new School of Business building and F Street residence hall, in addition to renovating Funger Hall. Officials have also signaled their intention to build a residence hall on Mount Vernon.

Since May 1999, when it broke ground on the School of Media and Public Affairs facility, GW has made major changes to or constructed more than a dozen buildings, including the GW Hospital and Elliott School of International Affairs building.

Beginning in spring 2006, the University plans to completely remodel the interior of the Hall of Government and Monroe Hall. The move aims to create additional office space for departments in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. Classes will still be held in the buildings’ rooms, which will be reconfigured.

“Since we’re putting different departments (in Monroe and Hall of Government), we’ll reconfigure the space and renew the space to make it appropriate (for those departments),” Executive Vice President and Treasurer Louis Katz said said.

While Government and Monroe halls will be closed during renovations, Katz said he does not anticipate the number of classrooms to decrease, since the new business school and Funger are slated to open in early 2006.

The economics, mathematics, political science, and speech and hearing departments will all move into Monroe’s new space following the Business School’s transfer to Duques Hall and Funger Hall next spring.

In addition to these academic building renovations, the University also plans to transform Quigley’s, the historic three-story building that served as a soda shop and popular student hangout until the 1970s.

Quigley’s has been used as office space for the last three decades, after GW purchased the building in 1974. University officials, Katz said, are considering different types of eating venues, such as a “low-end French bistro” or Italian restaurant to occupy the space.

“This is something that we’ve wanted to do for a number of years,” Katz said.

Since the University plans to expand Quigley’s into the basketball court behind the building, it must apply to the D.C. Zoning Commission for approval before any construction can take place, University Senior Counsel Charles Barber said.

The Zoning Commission can refuse permission to build if it feels the renovations will have an “adverse impact on the surrounding neighborhood,” he said.

GW’s zoning board hearing will take place May 16, and a vote on the University’s application to renovate Quigley’s is expected to come over the summer.

“We’d like to see (construction of Quigley’s) happen as soon as possible,” Katz said. Barber said the University aims to have the building open and fully operational by fall 2006.

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