Future uncertain for Tompkins and Corcoran halls

The University is in the early stages of mulling the future of Tompkins and Corcoran halls after the Science and Engineering Hall’s completion, an administrator said last week.

The $275-million building will free up space in the two laboratory halls by housing science courses in the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences under one roof, a move University officials hope will boost the institution’s interdisciplinary research capabilities.

But GW has a long way to go before determining how Tompkins and Corcoran will be used after the departments relocate, Senior Associate Vice President of Operations Alicia Knight said.

She said the University will conduct a study to settle on how to best use the spaces, working with Provost Steven Lerman’s office and department chairs to evaluate needs.

“That process hasn’t been designed yet in terms of how that is going to unfold, but it’s something that will start to unfold,” Knight said.

She said University officials are still establishing how research space at the Science and Engineering Hall will be doled out, a step that must be completed before Tompkins and Corcoran are reconsidered.

The University has the option of tearing down Tompkins, a site included in its 20-year campus plan for potential redevelopment, she said. Corcoran, a historic building that was the first structure erected for the University on the Foggy Bottom Campus, will stay.

Knight said because the Science and Engineering Hall does not have lecture-style classrooms, the University will need to figure out how to accommodate large courses.

“I think it’ll depend on sort of like a game of dominoes, we’re putting a puzzle together, how all the pieces fit together,” Knight said.

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