Changes from last year around campus

Media Credit: Olivia Anderson | Contributing Photo Editor

District House's opening marks one of the biggest changes on campus this year.

For upperclassmen, it isn’t as exciting to come back to the same school you have already attended for at least one year. You know your way around campus, you’re returning to the friends you have already made and organizations you have already joined.

But GW is a little different than it was last year. Here are some changes you can expect this year.

Dining and GWorld
When you return to the Marvin Center, you’ll notice some big changes, especially the elimination of J Street. Everything looks about the same in the Columbian Square seating area around J Street, but a few steps away, the previous dining hall is surrounded by white walls. Reconstruction of the dining hall began this summer, and officials say J Street will become a scaled-down dining option.

This may not be a huge deal for anyone, though, since officials announced in March that GW will no longer require students to spend money at dining halls. This new open-dining system will allow students to spend dining dollars at GWorld-approved locations. Despite this, students are no longer able to use GWorld cards for printing, purchasing textbooks, doing laundry or using non-dining facilities, unless they add extra money to their GWorld cards. Plus, the new management system GET will take over for JSA Technologies for students to add additional money.

District House
District House, formerly known as “superdorm,” is finally finished. If not you, other sophomores and juniors will be living in the brand new residence hall, which has been a work in progress since 2012.

The $130 million residence hall will house in its basement five new dining venues said to open in the fall: Wiseguy NY Pizza, Beef ‘n’ Bread, Chick-fil-A, GRK Fresh Greek, Sol Mexican Grill and Peets Coffee & Tea.

In 2013, students worked out a deal with administrators to create more student-oriented spaces in the new building, like places for group meetings and practice rooms for performance organizations, so you can use those rooms instead of meeting up in the Marvin Center.

Perhaps the most impactful part of District House opening is the reopening of the sidewalks along H and I streets and outside the residence hall. Previously, these sidewalks were impassable due to construction.

Students have been complaining about the nearly 90-year-old Thurston Hall and its deteriorating condition for years. This summer, though, the residence hall received upgrades, along with Mitchell Hall, JBKO and 2109 F Street.

Residence halls are not the only buildings undergoing renovations. Since the summer, the Flagg Building, home to the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design on 17th Street, is being transformed with upgrades to ensure it meets modern safety codes and is accessible to those with disabilities. However, the upgrades are taking longer than planned and will now require some classes in the Flagg Building to be relocated for at least the beginning of the year. Over the next few years, the 120-year-old building will receive $47.5 million in renovations.

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