Officials cut building access hours on nights and weekends

Media Credit: Katie Causey | Photo Editor

Duquès Hall and Funger Hall will no longer be open past 8 p.m. on Saturdays and will be closed all day on Sunday, as part of new, shortened-hours move for many campus buildings.

Updated: Sept. 8, 2015 at 2:16 p.m.

Officials really want students to relax on the weekends.

Two buildings, the Marvin Center and Gelman Library, will be open past 8 p.m. on Saturdays, and all but three buildings — Gelman, the Marvin Center, and the Science and Engineering Hall — will be closed to the general student population on Sundays.

Kurtis Hiatt, a University spokesman, said the hours were changed to restore the buildings to their historically normal hours that were extended while Gelman Library was undergoing renovations from 2012 to 2014.

The move comes weeks after the University attempted to restrict the hours of Gelman Library and take away its 24/7 availability. The change also comes as officials grapple with 5 percent budget cuts across administrative divisions last year, though Hiatt declined to say how much GW would save by cutting building access hours.

Before the change, Duquès and Funger halls were open from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday, from 7 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, and from noon to 2 a.m. Sunday.

Now the buildings close three hours earlier on Monday through Friday, close at 8 p.m. on Saturday, and are closed all day on Sunday.

Hiatt said in an email that the fall building schedule was determined after evaluating scheduled activities in the building, the types of spaces in each building and how the building was being used.

“Building hours also reflect the need to ensure that adequate study space is available for students around the clock and that those who need specialized studio or lab spaces are able to work beyond public hours,” Hiatt said.

Hiatt added that Funger, Duquès, the Academic Center and the Science and Engineering Hall will be open later than most academic buildings during the fall semester. Building hours are reviewed each semester, taking into account changes to campus operations, Hiatt said.

Alicia Knight, the senior associate vice president for operations, and Forrest Maltzman, the senior vice provost for academic affairs and planning, sent out a list of the changed hours to University officials last week, according to a University release.

“Finding the appropriate balance between building hours and utilization will both enhance the security of our buildings and assist GW in reaching its sustainability goals by reducing off-hours energy usage by limiting electricity and HVAC operations,” they said, according to the release.

Over the past several years, increasing student space on campus has been a rallying cry of student leaders and a key campaign plank in Student Association elections.

In August, students signed an online petition that gained 2,000 signatures in less than 24 hours to keep Gelman open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Students started another petition in February to keep the Science and Engineering Hall open for extended hours. According to a University release, the Science and Engineering Hall will be open until 11 p.m. during the weekdays this semester.

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that Gelman Library is the only building open past 8 p.m. on Saturdays. The Marvin Center is open from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Sunday through Saturday. We regret this error.

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