This term saw the opening of a new Georgetown residence hall, at 55 H Street NW. The investment in a new building to house students is associated with the long term efforts to support faculty and student ambitions for new programs serving their educational and research needs.
The new residence hall accommodates 459 students. About 400 of the rooms lie in four-person apartments, with 30 each in studios and 2 person apartments. As of this writing, about 80 percent of the rooms are filled, a great testament to the potential interest of students, given that the opening just occurred. The majority of the occupants are graduate students this term. This attests to the demand for university based housing for our graduate students more broadly, a demand we’re working to meet.
It also follows the attraction of living more in the heart of the city and closer to agencies, businesses, and institutions that are at the center of the policy formation within the city. It seems clear that student demand for housing will only increase over time.
While the residence is now online, it was started in preparation for multiple additions to the site, not all of which are yet operating.
One that is fully in operation is the Capitol Applied Learning Labs (CALL), a new resource for undergraduates. It permits students to supercharge their internships in the city with a set of integrative courses linked to their career interests, while living downtown closer to their internship locations, and sharing experiences with others experiencing the immersive wrap-around activities.
In addition, the building that will house the McCourt School of Public Policy is rapidly arising out of the ground at 125 E Street NW. This will house the various graduate programs of the McCourt School, adjacent to the important McCourt Research Centers at 500 1st street. In addition, this will be the site of a new joint public policy undergraduate degree in the College and the McCourt School. As proposed, undergraduates pursuing the public policy major will spend their first and second year on the Hilltop Campus and third and fourth year on the Capitol Campus.
Finally, the University has purchased a large existing building at 111 Massachusetts Avenue NW, which will become the home of the Earth Commons Institute, offering degree programs of various sorts and conducting research in environmental studies. The first program, joint between GSAS, Earth Commons, and the McDonough School of Business (MSB) is a MS in Environment and Sustainability Management, preparing graduates for careers focused on environmental leadership in private sector enterprises. There will be other MSB programs and centers in the building. In addition, the School of Continuing Studies will move from 640 Massachusetts to the new building and the School of Nursing and the School of Health will have programs.
All of these programs are related to student demand for new educational experiences and faculty interest in building programs that fit with their individual research interests. Human knowledge is constantly evolving and “people for others” constantly seek ways to increase the impact of new knowledge on the lives of the most disadvantaged. These new programs are consistent with those goals. The physical constraints of the Hilltop campus have limited the University’s ability to respond to new faculty initiatives and student interests allied with those initiatives.
So, the opening of the new residence hall is one of the vanguard moments of supporting Georgetown faculty and students in their ambitions.