Knapp addresses concerns from Foggy Bottom residents

President Steven Knapp speaks with Foggy Bottom Association President Asher Corson at one of the group's meetings Wednesday. Shannon Brown | Hatchet Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Cydney Hargis

University President Steven Knapp addressed community concerns about the 2007 Campus Plan at a neighborhood meeting Tuesday.

Knapp’s attendance marked his first visit to the Foggy Bottom Association, a local neighborhood group, since his introductory appearance at a 2008 meeting after he assumed his role as the University’s 16th president.

Multiple Foggy Bottom residents voiced apprehension regarding the University’s plans to keep tabs on its student enrollment cap, a population limit outlined in the campus plan.

“We monitor that obsessively throughout the entire admissions process,” Knapp said. “It’s a very tricky process every year because you can never be sure of who is going to come after we offer them admission.”

Foggy Bottom resident Michael Dudich asked that GW consider buildings’ appearances while redeveloping old structures.

“What happens inside the building doesn’t really affect us,” Dudich said. “The exterior of the building affects us as a neighborhood.”

Knapp said though he does not have a personal opinion on building appearances, he is happy to take suggestions.

Relations between GW and its Foggy Bottom neighbors were strained under former President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg’s 19-year tenure, when Foggy Bottom transformed from a quiet residential area into a bustling college neighborhood but have become less fractious in the last two years.

FBA President Asher Corson said the meeting did represent an improvement in relations between GW and the Foggy Bottom residents.

“I think fundamentally a lot of the same issues in terms of development are still there, but I do think the tone has improved,” Corson said, referring to large campus construction projects.

Matthew Kwiecinski contributed to this report

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