Welcome Back Guide: What’s new?

School of Public Health and Health Services building construction

A School of Public Health and Health Services building will be erected in place of the giant ditch at 24th Street and New Hampshire Avenue. The University broke ground for the $75 million project to create the school’s first home of its own in May.

Law Learning Center and parking garage construction

Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo

The garage portion of the Law Learning Center will open for use this fall on the 2000 block of G Street, while the academic portion of the building is slated for completion in 2013. The GW Law School will receive a floor of academic space above four floors equipped with 450 parking spots. Featuring glass walls, metal panes and a large entrance canopy, the center will also include a green roof, skylights and storm water-runoff sites.

The Marriott Courtyard Hotel construction

The $28 million hotel that has been under construction for two years at 20th and E streets will open this fall. Foggy Bottom residents and students complained about construction which was said to have created “unlivable” conditions in 2010.

Science and Engineering Hall construction

Construction crews continue work on the most expensive building in University history, the $275 million Science and Engineering Hall along 22nd and H streets. Excavation in the southern end of the site, close to Fulbright and JBKO halls, is completed, and controlled blasting restarted in early August to carve out the rest of the building’s lower layer. The 480,000 square-foot research building will house courses from the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Columbian College of Art and Sciences. The building, which broke ground this spring, will open in 2015.

Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo

New Arabic Major and Minor

Students can now major or minor in the Arabic language through the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. Interest in the world’s fifth-most spoken language has surged in the last few years, which prompted professors and students to lobby for the degree.

Construction on Gelman Library

Long-awaited renovations to Gelman Library began on the aging building’s first and second floors this summer with the drilling of a hole into the wall bordering Kogan Plaza. Administrative offices cleared and relocated to upper floors to make way for a second-floor entrance through Kogan. Gelman was allocated $16 million for upgrades.

New UPD location

The University Police Department moved into the Academic Center on H Street and out of its previous location at 20th and G streets. The department’s leader, UPD Chief Kevin Hay has touted the new location at the center of campus – across from Gelman Library and down the block from the Marvin Center – as a crime deterrent in heavily trafficked areas. The move freed up space in the Woodhull House for the GW Museum, which will open in 2014

A new University logo

GW plans to release a new logo Aug. 26 as part of a sweeping rebranding campaign run by two top-tier firms. The companies, FutureBrand and 160over90, were tasked with crafting a new GW seal that will unify its visual message and create buzz for the school. The new look will be revealed at a celebration event Aug. 26 with food, music and games.

SmarTrip and D.C. Metro changes

D.C.’s rail system is pushing riders who still carry paper fare cards to adopt the tap-and-go SmarTrips to pay for their commutes. But make sure you load up your SmarTrip with cash often: Starting Sept. 1, commuters must have a minimum balance of $1.20 to enter a station. To save money spent on printing paper cards and speed up long lines at stations, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority will also give rebates for online card registrations and install more machines to sell SmarTrips, including one at the Foggy Bottom Metro.

Student services centralized

Colonial Crossroads opened on the Marvin Center fifth floor in early August, a $2 million project that centralized a group of student services offices. At this new location students can now get help finding anything from a study abroad program to a research grant, rather than traveling to various locations around campus for commonly-needed office visits.

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