Officials upgrade psychology department building after paying fine for sewage overflow

Media Credit: Alexander Welling | Assistant Photo Editor

In May, more than 15 faculty members and graduate students said the psychology department's building has been plagued with periodic ventilation and temperature and sewage issues.

The University received and paid a $1,037 fine for failing to keep the psychology department building’s sewer line “free of obstruction.”

Officials paid the fine, issued by the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, and made several improvements to the facilities of Building GG, the psychology department’s home at 2125 G St. NW, over the past few months, said Alicia Knight, the senior associate vice president of operations. The fine and renovations come after more than 15 faculty members and graduate students complained of “rancid” conditions in May following a sewage leak in the building.

“The University has made a great deal of progress renovating Building GG this summer, both with the interior and exterior,” Knight said in an email.

Knight said Division of Operations staff have cleared the sewage lines and performed “extensive preventative maintenance” on the lines. She added that new ceramic tiles were installed in the second-, third- and fourth-floor restrooms, and common areas, lobbies, corridors and “critical rooms” on those floors received new flooring and “top to bottom” painting.

Knight said the building’s G Street and Kogan Plaza facades were repaired, cleaned and painted. She added that the flooring in the main lobby and the first-floor men’s restroom will be replaced next week, and the building will receive lighting upgrades in the “next few weeks.”

Knight said officials also made renovations to the building’s interior and main conference room, like converting “obsolete” windows and a fabric wall into new drywall, replacing the room’s blackboard with a whiteboard and adding electrical wiring underneath the room’s carpet to add electrical connections to the “forthcoming” conference table.

“We consulted with the department chair, Dr. John Philbeck, and engaged Professor Becca Landwehr, a colleague from GW’s Architectural Design program, to consult on all design choices for the interior of the building in an effort to reflect the department’s taste and individuality, while tying the design choices to the essence of the study of psychology whenever possible,” Knight said.

She said Philbeck and Landwehr consulted with the Division of Operations’ in-house design team to select new furniture for the building. She said the furniture will be delivered early next month.

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