Off-campus classrooms to find on-campus homes

Media Credit: Samuel Klein | Senior Photo Editor

Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Planning Forrest Maltzman detailed plans for shifting academic classrooms and office spaces around campus when new space in the the Science and Engineering Hall becomes available this month.

This semester will be the last for classes at 2020 K St.

GW will move all off-campus classes to spaces that became available with the opening of the Science and Engineering Hall this month, said Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Planning Forrest Maltzman. The 1776 G St. building will remain occupied until 2016.

“Students complain about them, faculty don’t like going over there, so we’re going to put those back onto the campus,” Maltzman said in an interview. “So that is going to be a good portion of the backfill.”

The University will wait for the leases to expire instead of canceling them early. The end of the leases could help cut costs after a drop in graduate enrollment forced departments to trim budgets and slow down plans to open new faculty positions.

Maltzman said $41.7 million had been set aside from the capital budget for backfill projects.

Four years ago, GW’s Innovation Task Force announced an effort to cut down leased spaces by two-thirds by 2017, in the hopes of saving the University $3 million a year.

And as professors and researchers finish moving into the Science and Engineering Hall, the spaces left behind will be filled by science classes that couldn’t fit into the new building and other departments like philosophy and math.

Provost Steven Lerman said the University will have to determine what best to do with those vacant buildings, especially since some, like Corcoran Hall, are considered historic buildings and will have a permanent place on campus.

“We try to invest more of our resources in places that we’re going to have forever and make more strategic decisions in how much to invest in places, buildings that we may ultimately want to tear down to build other things,” he said.

He added that Tompkins Hall will be renovated, but not as extensively as Corcoran and Bell halls.

Charles Garris, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, said most faculty have been in the dark about which departments are going where, but he believes Tompkins will continue to serve as a home for some engineers.

He said labs in the Tompkins basement will probably continue to be used, but space on the first and fourth floors of the building could be converted into classrooms.

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