University to renovate, revamp Marvin Center first floor

The ground floor of the Marvin Center will undergo renovations beginning this spring in an effort to centralize student services while creating more meeting space for students.

Proposed changes include relocating the GWorld Card Office from the fifth floor to the ground floor, adding more seating in front of the GW Bookstore, and converting underused spaces on the ground floor into student meeting space.

Michael Peller, assistant vice president for events and venues, said the planned renovations aim to “centralize University services and make them more accessible to students.”

One of the major components of the project will involve the removal of the staircase leading from the Marvin Center’s ground floor up to the center of J Street, which will open up space in the café area.

“This effort will provide additional room for seating in J Street,” Peller said.

Though changes to J Street restaurants are also being considered, the University has not made any official plans for reconfigurations.

Nancy Haaga and Anya Hughes of Campus Support Services and Sam Ramos and Katy Kash of Sodexo declined to comment on potential changes to dining venues in J Street.

“We continue our planning for enhancements in dining services, and no decisions have been made at this time,” Ed Schonfeld, GW’s senior associate vice president for administration, said.

The removal of the J Street staircase will create space for the GWorld office on the ground floor directly across from Colonial Central, a move designed to centralize student service functions by bringing financial assistance, student accounts, the registrar, the cashier and GWorld into one spot.

“Resurfacing that area is intended to create more of a full service area in a convenient location,” said Robert Chernak, senior vice provost and senior vice president for Student and Academic Support Services.

To make the ground floor more functional for students, Peller said the basement FedEx Kinko’s, whose contract with the University expired in July 2009, and the computer lab currently occupying the area behind WRGW’s office, will be converted into small meeting and study spaces.

“Our goal has always been to identify more space for student activities and services in the Marvin Center,” Peller said. “After thorough analysis and discussions with student leaders, we determined that we have an opportunity to use the ground floor space in the Marvin Center in ways that enhance services to students.”

University spokeswoman Michelle Sherrard declined to provide cost estimates for the renovations.

Construction is expected to begin after Commencement, and the GWorld office relocation is scheduled to be complete before the beginning of the fall 2011 semester. The remaining work is expected to be finished by the end of the fall.

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