University to address spring noise fears

GW officials are hoping an outreach program targeted at students living off campus will help quiet both noisy students and concerned neighbors fearful of parties spurred by after Spring Break revelry.

After seeing a spike in complaints coming in to GW’s Community Concern Hotline after spring break, Michael Akin, assistant vice president of government, international and community relations, said University officials devised a plan to quell community concerns.

Akin briefed members of FRIENDS – a group comprised of GW community members and local residents – on the University’s Spring Break Proactive Outreach plan at the end of their bi-monthly meeting at GW Hospital Tuesday.

This spike, he said, is likely due to excitement surrounding warmer weather.

“Most complaints come during Halloween, rush week, and there is a spike in the week or two after spring break,” Akin said.

The University will e-mail all off-campus students encouraging them to be aware of how much noise they make and how its affects their neighbors.

The community group also discussed GW’s campus development, voicing their continued concerns about the University’s growth.

Executive Vice President and Treasurer Lou Katz stressed the desire to improve GW as he spoke about upcoming campus projects – he called GW’s planned Science and Engineering Complex “critical for success in programs and research.”

Last month the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission objected to the University’s plans for the SEC, expressing concern about a lack of features that would serve the surrounding community and worries over parking. Some residents were concerned about demolition of the University Parking Garage, which will be torn down to build the SEC.

The University is required to provide at least 2,800 spaces under its 2007 Foggy Bottom Campus Plan, but GW has maintained additional spaces to meet parking demand, Katz said. A new parking garage will be erected to replace the University Parking Garage but residents were concerned about the loss of spots during construction.

St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, located on 23rd Street next to the Lerner Health and Wellness Center, relies on the current parking garage for large events.

“When the church has major events, such as Shrove Tuesday next week, parking gives us passes to account for overflow,” local resident Ralph Patterson said.

His wife and junior warden of the St. Mary’s, Lois Lee Patterson, said many people will have nowhere to park when the lot is demolished.

“As [Katz] said last night, we will work with the churches to be sure this arrangement continues after UPG comes down and the parking is replaced at other locations around campus,” Akin said Wednesday.

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