Townhouse Row residents relocated to hotels after reports of ‘environmental concerns’

Media Credit: Danielle Towers | Assistant Photo Editor

Townhouse Row houses 204 students when filled to maximum capacity, according to GW's housing website.

Updated: Sept. 6, 2021 at 12:45 p.m.

Residents on Townhouse Row were instructed to evacuate their buildings Sunday night after residents in two units reported “environmental concerns” to officials earlier this week.

Officials said 175 students evacuated on shuttle buses to two local hotels after an email was sent to residents at about 6:15 p.m., stating that facilities staff detected “water infiltration” in the buildings. Residents of the Sigma Chi, Alpha Phi, Beta Theta Pi, Sigma Kappa, Kappa Delta, the National Pan-Hellenic Council and Sigma Delta Tau townhouses were relocated to Yours Truly Hotel in the West End neighborhood, and residents and Alpha Delta Pi were transported to the River Inn just off campus the email states.

The message – signed by Brian Joyce, the director of fraternity and sorority life, and Baxter Goodly, the associate vice president for Facilities Planning, Construction and Management – instructed students to evacuate the townhouses by 10 p.m. and pack for a two to four night stay while officials work to investigate the potential damage done behind the walls of the units. The relocation will likely last at least two or three weeks, but students will be able to work with professional movers to remove additional personal belongings from the townhouses beginning Tuesday.

“We realize that this is unexpected and an inconvenience to move at the beginning of the semester,” the email states. “We pledge to continue providing you with information and updates as we learn more about the extent of the work to be performed.”

University spokesperson Crystal Nosal deferred comment to the email sent to Townhouse Row residents.

Officials said students should pack their personal belongings from their rooms during their first move and carry along items from the common spaces or kitchens later this week.

“The plan is to take as much of your personal belongings as possible to the hotel,” the email reads. “We do not currently know the extent of the work to be performed and do not want to damage any of your belongings while performing the work.”

The emails states shuttles would line up along 23rd Street to take students to their respective hotels beginning at 7 p.m., and the first bus was set to depart at 7:30 p.m. with 30-minute pickup intervals until 10 p.m.

Officials said they will contact residents by 6 p.m. Monday with further details about the move and will host a virtual community meeting about the issue for residents and their families Wednesday evening.

This post was updated to correct the following:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported Phi Sigma Sigma residents were evacuated based on outdated information on GW’s website. This post was updated to correct the Greek life chapters whose residents were evacuated.

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