GW’s prime real estate up for grabs

When it comes time to fill out housing applications, there are a few residence halls on campus that are consistently top picks. But for everyone who is anxiously awaiting their housing assignments, most times it is not the building but the room that makes all the difference.

Due to the fact that each building’s layout is unique, there are residence hall rooms that set themselves apart from the rest.. Differences such as location, amenities and space also make these rooms more desirable to students.

“A lot of properties are unique or individual in their own way,” said Seth Weinshel, the assignment director for GW Housing. The top floors of City Hall and Ivory Tower, the sixth floor of New Hall and the five-person Francis Scott Key Hall room are the “prime locations on campus,” he said.

In most cases what makes these rooms stand out are their exclusive layouts that allow for more space, and their amenities, such as dishwashers in the kitchens, private washers and dryers, or views of the city.

The reason for the special rooms is the economical architectural plans.

“As you are designing a building you are (often) left with an odd space,” Weinshel said. “This space is a result of us maximizing the usage of the building so that we don’t end up with dead space.”

There is nothing that students can do to increase their chances of getting assigned to these rooms. He said the only students fortunate enough to pick their housing are the winners of Martha’s Marathon.

Sophomore Jackie Bianchini, who won the lottery last year, still has the ticket on display in her 9th floor quad in Ivory Tower.

Composed of two spacious bedroom suites, the room includes two bathrooms, a new kitchen equipped with a dishwasher and a large living area with windows on both sides that allow for a spectacular view of the Washington monument. The only downfall to the room is lack of closet space – the four roommates are forced to share dressers and under-the-bed drawers, said Bianchini.

This does not bother Bianchini, who said her location in Ivory Tower is especially convenient if she wants to get a snack in the food court at the residence hall basement.

“I am really lazy, so I think one of the advantages is the food in the basement, especially when it’s freezing out and snowing and you wake up at four in the afternoon,” she said

Another building that boasts especially large rooms is Building JJ. This residence hall often goes unnoticed by students applying for housing.

There are a total of 27 people living in JJ divided between quads and doubles. The quads are set back from the hallways and consist of two bedrooms with two bathrooms as well as a substantially sized common area and oversized closets. The only complaint about the building is that there are no elevators which makes move-ins especially difficult, said sophomore Gillian White, who lives in one of the building’s quads.

“I didn’t think a lot of people knew about it,” White said. “It was my first choice. My (house proctor) freshman year recommended it.”

White said she likes the environment in the building.

“It’s really secluded in JJ; it’s really quiet,” she said. “It’s not like the whole Thurston feel where everyone is kind of like ‘leave your door open.'”

Another one of the best dorm rooms on campus, Weinshel said, is the FSK five-person rooms which includes two large bedrooms with spacious closets, three bathrooms, a large living area and a kitchen.

“I like the setup, and I like the idea that the other people I live with are right there,” said sophomore Kristin Fanshawe, an FSK resident. “So it’s really nice.”

Sophomore Naylah Atallah said she did have one complaint about the building.

She said, “The basketball players live upstairs and they are always bouncing their basketballs.”

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